(Video) When Football Legend Diego Armando Maradona Was In a Boxing Match

Diego Armando Maradona is renowned as one of the greatest footballers of all time, but few know that the Argentine legend briefly stepped into the boxing ring for an exhibition bout. In 1996, Maradona squared off against his friend Santos Laciar, a two-weight world champion boxer, for a three-round exhibition match.

Maradona was still an active player for Boca Juniors at the time, nearing the end of his illustrious career that saw him score 345 goals for club and country. He is perhaps best known for leading Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup, including scoring the infamous “Hand of God” goal against England.

The recently resurfaced footage of Maradona’s boxing match has gone viral on social media, drawing a mix of amusement and intrigue. Despite being significantly taller than the 5’1″ Laciar, Maradona did not appear to take the friendly bout too seriously. The two exchanged playful blows and even jokingly punched the referee at one point.

While obviously not a professional boxing match, the exhibition allowed Maradona to showcase his impressive agility and accuracy that made him a football icon. Many have speculated what he could have achieved had he pursued boxing instead, given his natural gifts.

After retiring from professional football in 1997 at age 37, Maradona transitioned into coaching but remained an iconic figure in the sport until his passing in November 2020 at age 60.

The exhibition boxing match serves as an amusing footnote in Maradona’s legendary career, allowing fans to imagine the seemingly impossible scenario of the football great stepping between the ropes. Though undoubtedly a singular talent on the pitch, the viral footage proves Maradona could also entertain with his fists.