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Death of boxer Jean-Claude Bouttier, flagship champion of the 70s
Jean-Claude Bouttier in 2012, in an interview given to the UN.

Of boxing, the nose showed blows that he had received; the hands of those many whom he had made. Former boxer Jean-Claude Bouttier, who entered the history of noble art after his legendary fights against Carlos Monzon, died at the age of 74, announced his friend and journalist sportsman Charles Bietry, Saturday 3 August.

Born in 1944 in Saint-Pierre-La-Cour, a small village in Mayenne, nothing predisposed Jean-Claude Bouttier to play two world belts against the Argentine terror. Apprentice butcher at 14, the boy did not seem so good at boxing. But his determination is flawless, and by dint of amateur fights, the young man gets a place in this environment so coded.

"Go into the mouth! AT"

In January 1971, he won the title of champion of France â € " "The most beautiful of my career"he said to World â € " and won, five months later, the European belt at Roland-Garros in front of an audience in disguise. Nice mouth, good expression, sense of the formula … the athlete becomes a popular figure.

Jean-Claude Bouttier then attacked the world title held by the terror of the rings, the Argentine Carlos Monzon. "You had to see what it was like at the time. Everyone was scared of it, " told Bouttier in 2011, shortly after the publication of his book, Final fist .

"I have never felt that way. If you're scared, do not get on a ring. My tactical scheme was simple: get him in the mouth! AT"

On June 17, 1972, the two athletes confront each other in Colombes. At the sixth restart, Monzon goes to the mat. Without solution, the Argentine gives a boost in the eye of his opponent. Bouttier must give up. "The gloves did not have any seams, which made it possible. Years later, in Argentina, Carlos told me that he had only found this parade to beat me. AT"

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The revenge takes place a year later, on September 29, 1973. At Roland Garros this time. The last three times are untenable despite the combativity of Bouttier. "The Argentinian was too strong," He writes in his book. the Worldforty years later he said:

 € œIf a knife had stumbled during our meeting, it would have planted me. These guys do not react the same as us. Me, I received an education that forbade me to cross certain limits. They are in the street they have learned to survive. It's what makes all the difference! AT"

The "BB"

After this world title that resisted him, came the time of retirement. These two lost bouts had contributed to the great popularity of Jean-Claude Bouttier, who had remained champion of Europe until May 1974 and defeated against Britain's Kevin Finnegan.

In 1975, he embarked on the organization of boxing matches, created his own brand of clothes, shot in a film by Lelouch (One and the other). But it was in 1984 that his life rocked again. Charles Beryry, his journalist friend of the Agence France-Presse, offers him to be a consultant for a private channel that is about to come into being: Canal +. "For ten years, we've been called the  " BB" as our duo worked, " said Jean-Claude Bouttier, nostalgic.

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Saturday, it is that same Charles Bietry who tweeted his sadness. "The friend leaves us a huge void", Writes Charles Bietry on his Twitter account.

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