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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Morocco’s Baalla attempts to bite opponent in boxing clash

Morocco’s Youness Baalla has attempted to bite his opponent, New Zealand’s David Nyika ear during a boxing match at the Tokyo Olympics.

Losing in the third and final round of his last-16 heavyweight clash, Baalla moved with his mouth open to his opponent’s ear and appeared to attempt to bite it.

The incident was not spotted by the referee but Nyika went on to seal a 5-0 win to progress.

“He didn’t get a full mouthful,” Nyika said. “Luckily he had his mouthguard in and I was a bit sweaty.

“I don’t remember what I said to him but I gave him a little bit of cheek.

“I have been bitten once on the chest before at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But come on man, this is the Olympics.”

The 22-year-old was subsequently disqualified for unsportsmanlike behaviour, although he was already out of the Games anyway following his unanimous-points loss in the round-of-16 bout.

A Tokyo 2020 statement called Baalla’s actions “intolerable”, saying that he “very clearly intended to bite the ear/face of his opponent in the third round of the bout”

It will be recalled that former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear twice during their heavyweight world title fight in Las Vegas in 1997. He was disqualified and lost his boxing licence for 15 months.

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