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Jean-Claude Bouttier


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Jean-Claude Bouttier was a French middleweight contender who fought from the mid sixties to the mid seventies. He is most known for his two battles against Carlos Monzon. He was a strong and tough battler who possessed good power, for 43 of his 64 victories came by way of knockout. He was born in Vitry-Sur-Seine, Val-de-Marne on 13 October 1943. He was a contemporary of Nessim Max Cohen and Gratien Tonna, who were the other two best French middleweights of that era, but unlike the Moroccan born Cohen and Tunisian born Tonna, he was French born. As amateur he posted a record of 21 wins, 9 defeats and 1 draw. He made his professional debut in October 1965 and posted 36 consecutive victories with 23 knockouts before experiencing his first setback in a decision loss against Brazilian Juárez de Lima in April 1969. They had a rematch in September and again Lima was victorious on points. After that he first faced off against the national rival Nessim Max Cohen in a 10-round draw. In 1970 he had his first fight in USA and beat Henry Walker by split decision, but then lost to Lonnie Harris the same way. But after that, he won the French title by stopping Pascal di Benedetto by TKO 6 in January 1971. He then first scored a 2nd round ko against Tom Bethea, who had previously stopped Nino Benvenuti, then he also avenged the loss to Lonnie Harris by a knockout in 5, before capturing the European title by decision against Juan Carlos Duran of Argentina in June.


He made his first defense against English-based Jamaican Bunny Sterling by TKO14. He then beat the former Benvenuti-opponent and light heavyweight world title challenger Doyle Baird by TKO6. He also beat Fabio Bettini on points before getting his first title shot against none other than Carlos "Escopeta" Monzon on 17 June 1972. The fight was held in Colombes Stadium in Paris but Bouttier was overmatched and suffered his worst beating against the taller and rangier Monzon. He was down once in the sixth round and remained in his corner before the beginning of the 13th. Thus the world title dream had ended. In December that year he fought against legend Emile Griffith and won by a disqualification in the seventh when Griffith got disqualified for a low blow. He would rematch Monzon on 29 September 1973 and this time he went the distance but was knocked down three times. Still, he managed to win a few rounds this time and give Monzon a harder fight. Next year he made another defense of the European title against Elio Calcabrini and stopped him in the 12th, but then he experienced another setback when he lost the title to Kevin Finnegan of Britain, the former Òlympic gold medallist, on points. After losing a rematch to Cohen by TKO11 in December, he retired.


After his retirement he tried himself at acting and appeared in seven movies altogether. Since 1990 he is a boxing consultant for Canal+. In 1971 he was elected the French champion of the year by the magazine L'Equipe.

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