They disqualify a Moroccan boxer for an unfair attack above the ring

The referee did not see the incident, which was only captured by television cameras. They assess severe penalties. (AFP)

Mike Tyson has long since retired from the ring, but one of his most controversial attitudes is still very much in force. Since he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997 there have been dozens of similar events and the Tokyo Olympics they were no exception. In this case, the protagonist was the Moroccan heavyweight boxer, Youness Baalla, who tried (luckily, fortunately) to bite his rival’s face.

It all happened at the end of the third round of the fight he lost to David Nyika, during a hold in the center of the ring. The bite did not appear to include teeth so the New Zealand fighter hardly felt the contact.

“He didn’t give me a full bite,” Nyika said at the end of the match. “Luckily, he was wearing the mouth guard and I was sweating (…) I think he tried to reach the cheekbone. He probably just got his mouth full of sweat, “he said.

The referee did not see the incident, which was only captured by television cameras. Baalla was not penalized during the match that Nyika won comfortably, but could be exposed to heavy penalties.

A statement from the International Olympic Committee indicates that Baalla “He had the clear intention of biting his opponent’s ear / face in the third round of the fight”, for which he was disqualified from the competition.

The letter also indicates that “the unsportsmanlike behavior was only noticed by the Technical Officials of the BTF (working group) and the Technical Delegate once the session in which the fight took place was over.”

Far from wanting to argue, and faced with the attack by social networks on the boxer without codes, Nyika wrote a post in which he tried to justify and defend his rival: “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 rival and I can appreciate the frustration he must have felt”.

Nyika remained the winner of the match by a score of 5-0 and will face Belarusian Uladzislau Smiahlikau in the heavyweight (81-91 kg) quarterfinals on Friday.

Youness Balla, 22, finished in 17th place at the last 2019 World Championships.

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