Moroccan boxer Younes Baala was disqualified from the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday after trying to bite the ear of his New Zealand competitor David Nieka in the round of 16 in the 81-91 kg weight class.
This incident reminded former American champion Mike Tyson of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997.
Baala lunged at the New Zealander’s ear while holding his arms, but his opponent managed to avoid the attack that occurred in the third round. He was not noticed by Sri Lankan referee Shirumala Thambo or the five judges.
After a fight dominated by Nyica and won 5-0, the organizers announced the exclusion of the Moroccan boxer and the cancellation of his result, despite his loss.
A statement issued by the International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Working Group said Baala “had a clear intention to bite the ear/face of his opponent in the third round of the match.”
He added that Baala was excluded because of his “unbearable movement during the fight.”
Nika tried to downplay the incident with a message on his Instagram account, “The heat of battle can bring out the best and the worst in people. This is part of the sport.. I have nothing but respect for my opponent and I can appreciate the frustration he felt.”
Bala (22 years old) finished 17th in the last World Championships of 2019.
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