BEST BOXER - 1998
The St. Paul-based Montantes had his life cut short at age 28 when he was killed in a boxing match last September. A lightweight fighter with a devastating left hook, Montantes was knocked out permanently in the sixth round by James Crayton, and the impact of that punch is still being felt by mournful fans. Entering the ring at an early age, he turned pro at 19 because, as reporter Jon Tevlin once wrote, "Montantes was not built for the point system of amateur fights--he was a puncher." His death was a brutal end to a brutal career in a brutal sport. And now he's a legend.