When Diego Maradona fought an exhibition boxing match for charity back in 1996 and jokingly attacked the referee
Diego Maradona will forever be remembered as one of football’s greatest ever players following his death today at the age of 60.
What many don’t recall however, is that the uniquely gifted Argentinian once also tried his hand at another sport – boxing.
Back in April 1996, Maradona kept a promise to his friend Santos ‘Falucho’ Laciar and stepped in the ring for a three-round exhibition fight.
Flyweight Falucho became a sporting hero in Argentina back in 1981 when he travelled to South Africa, knocked out Peter Mathebula and returned with the WBA world title.
On the 15-year anniversary of his triumph, the retired fighter returned to the ring to face the most high-profile opponent possible.
Maradona was remarkably still playing football for Boca Juniors at the time, but was allowed to participate in a boxing match while under contract because… well most likely because he’s Maradona.
At the weigh-in one the day before the fight, Diego scaled 75.3kgs (166lbs), while Laciar weighed 61.45kgs (135lbs).
Maradona donned a headguard, gloves and Boca-coloured shorts so he could exchange blows with his friend Falucho for three rounds.
At one point in the light-hearted contest both men even stopped hitting each other and instead targeted the referee.
The obviously good-natured affair was ultimately scored a draw.
Proceeds from the fight were donated to General Paz Junior’s Club in Cordoba, Argentina, where the contest took place.
Post-fight, Maradona entertained the crowd with keepie uppies in the ring. He was truly one of a kind.