WATCH: Two Kickboxers Move In For The Kill, Er, Kiss

In 1995 South African kickboxer Michael Bernardo met France’s Jerome Le Banner in the ring for a semi-final round in Tokyo. The opponents move in for the kill, lock eyes and …kiss each other.

Today at 40, Le Banner is still a champion athlete, having most recently won contests this summer. Unfortunately, Bernardo committed suicide last year following a long battle with depression.

h/t AmericanBlog

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  • tookietookie

    That was so sweet.

  • dvsBTM

    Ahhh, le Français + Suid-Afrikaner = Rainbow-coloured unicorns!

  • Dxley

    Dt wasi nodig om joslf dood te maki, Michael. Rest In Peace!!!

  • Homophile

    Totes adorbs.

  • fredo777

    Aww, I didn’t hear about his suicide. That’s fucked up. I always loved this clip.

  • Caliban

    Yeah, this is a great clip. What I like about it is that the first kiss is supposed to be an insult to the masculinity of the other fighter, a move other boxer/fighters have pulled with sometimes violent results. But instead of reacting in homophobic horror, the other fighter kisses him back and smiles, not really in a homoerotic way but more like, “You goof! I’m not insulted by that” and they have a shared moment that’s almost sweet because they’re seeing each other as real people instead of just macho gladiators.

  • n900mixalot

    Won’t see anything like that in America… land of the free and repressed.

  • Fitz

    It would be more touching if the follow up wasn’t: and then died of mental illness.

  • D P

    Aww.. That was really sweet!

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