From the Archives: The Sweet Science and Magic

By Susan Harris

Ana María Shua's Rematch, from our August 2005 issue, goes twelve rounds with the story of Argentine boxer Carlos Monzón, the World Champion Middleweight from 1970 to 1977.  Our narrator, a grizzled old fan, recounts how he engineered Monzón's brilliant career and violent downfall (he strangled his wife, went to prison, and after his release was killed in a car crash) with the mystical spells of one Brother Zelaya. With "just a little nudge from the angels," Monzón goes undefeated, and the narrator realizes guaranteed results on his bets. But when the tables turn and the narrator needs Monzón to lose, he finds himself on the ropes. The rematch of the title pits the unwitting Monzón against his benefactor turned avenger; years in the making, "when it came down, it was a complete and total knockout."


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