“I like to say that in Spain there have been three great legends: Lola Flores, Camarón and Poli Díaz.” This is how blunt Antonio Ricobaldi, CEO of the promoter Unlimited Global Challengers and representative of the ‘Potro de Vallecas’, is shown, currently in provisional prison in Las Palmas awaiting trial date for a possible crime of injury.
Poli Diaz He resides with his partner in Las Palmas, from where he was preparing to get back in the ring in an exhibition match in Madrid later this year. His representative, Antonio Ricobaldi, assures that in the Canary Islands Poli led “a normal life, without bad habits, something that he no longer sells at the media level.”
To remember stellar moments like that July 27, 1991, in which Spain He was paralyzed to see Poli Díaz’s fight for the world lightweight title against the American Pernell Whitaker, with whom he lost in Norfolk (United States) on points. It was the climax of a sports career that later disappeared at breakneck speed due to excesses and addictions.
What happened to Poli Díaz?
A: Poli was arrested, he was brought to justice by the National Police and the investigating judge, of court number 7, ordered provisional imprisonment since he had a search and arrest warrant. This came from a trial that he had in Criminal Court number 30 in Madrid to which he had not appeared. The magistrate specified that order and when he went to renew the DNI he stayed there. One thing that nobody expected.
What is your situation right now?
The situation is that he is in the Salto del Negro prison, in Las Palmas, in the income department. He has to stay there for a week due to the security measures derived from the covid and then he will go to a normal module with other inmates. We hope that he will be in prison for the shortest possible time, although he will be in preventive detention until the date of the trial. The lawyers are examining the file and we hope that the situation will be remedied soon.
Why didn’t you show up for trial?
This has happened because his judgment has been changed several times. It originally had a date before the coronavirus arrived, with the issue of the State of Alarm they changed it, when there was the snow storm Filomena they changed it again and on the last date it passed. It is not a thing he did on purpose. You are behaving perfectly.
Does this situation complicate the fight that was planned at the end of this year?
It really complicates the issue of the fight a bit because we do not have an exact trial date, the exhaustive preparation that I was having is cut off and also all the promotion and the press that we were doing. Not only was it a Poli match against his opponent, but there were other internationally renowned athletes.
How was Poli preparing for this fight?
His return was causing a lot of anticipation. He was very excited because it is still a veteran fight, with another of his fifth, in an exhibition match. It’s something similar to Julio César Chávez or Myke Tyson with Roy Jones. Poli was very happy because he is a champion and whoever is a champion has him inside for life. The opponent has been beaten as well.
If it couldn’t be this year, would the match be attempted for 2022?
Yes, but we have a handicap that adds up. With the Boxing Federation, we are having problems getting them to give us the license and another international federation was going to grant us that license. As this has happened, everything becomes a bit complicated and they may be reluctant to give it to Poli to get into the ring legally and officially.
How is Poli’s life in Las Palmas?
Little is known because we are being very neutral. We are carrying the communication and talking about the combat, but not about his private life. Before, the media knew about it because of bad habits and now that there aren’t any, it doesn’t matter. It is an anodyne life, like any normal citizen’s or neighbor’s child.
He has a good preparation in the gym, it is not like the one he had when he competed, but one thing that Poli has is that first thing in the morning, at 6.30, he goes out for a run. He has a very strong engine for his age. He is skinny, weighs seventy-odd kilos and is made into a figure, his suits are impeccable.
How was that return of Poli forged to return to boxing?
It occurred to me because of Mike Tyson, although before I had the idea of doing a commemorative Poli match against someone of his size and career, but also retired.
When I was little and Poli was young, I was on a portal in Lavapiés (Madrid neighborhood) and he gave me 500 pesetas to go to the movies. I got to see the movie Rambo 3 and another by Jean Claude Van Damme ‘Bloody contact’.
From there, when I was older, I began to dedicate myself to the subject of contact sports and fighting and I decided to go find Poli in the Canary Islands. I showed him what Tyson and Julio César Chávez had done, he told me to go ahead and we came to Madrid to prepare the show, because Poli, in himself, is already a show.
Have you noticed the warmth of the people when announcing your return?
Poli is a very media figure. I like to say that in Spain there have been three great legends: Lola Flores, Camarón and Poli Díaz. Is incredible. You cannot walk on the Gran Vía. There were a thousand photos a day. That is why we prefer to be in the Canary Islands. One thing that caught my attention is that people in their thirties and older knew him, but also younger people. He has some songs that have been made in his legendary name such as those of Marea, Los Chichos or the rapper Poli Díaz Army. He was unaware that he enjoyed that fame within the youth world.