Benvenuti came out for the 12th and actually hit Monz�n on the jaw with a left hook, but Monz�n did not bat an eye. He herded Nino into his own corner, drove a clean uppercut to the point of the chin and the idol of Italians went down. There was dead silence in his corner. Benvenuti's wife, Giuliana, who hadn't stopped screaming from the sound of the first bell, stood mute, looking at her beaten husband. They led the stunned champion away from the ropes and back to his stool, but he was so groggy he had to stay there several minutes before he could walk down the aisle to his dressing room. When he got there he gave orders that no one be allowed to come in. Even Giuliana waited outside. She had her own explanation for her husband's defeat. For 20 days before the fight, Nino had remained secluded, almost out of touch with the world. "What do you expect?" said Giuliana. "Keeping him for such a long time so far from everyone! Twenty days without seeing anybody. He was forbidden to see his friends, to have their talks, their comfort, their encouragement. It was all a big mistake."
Perhaps it was a mistake and, true enough, Benvenuti has looked bad before, only to handle his conquerors easily in return matches. But last Saturday night he seemed to be a man past his prime.