Olympic Boxer Youness Baalla of Morocco Tries to Bite Opponent’s Ear
A Moroccan boxer tried to bite his opponent’s ear during a heavyweight match on Tuesday.
Youness Baalla try to lock David Nyika’s ear failed as the pair closed in late in their 81-91 kilogram prelims on Tuesday. Nyika, 25, of New Zealand, won the match by unanimous decision to advance to the men’s quarter-finals.
“He didn’t have a full bite,” Nyika said. “Luckily he had his mouth guard on and I was a little sweaty.” As the referee missed the bite attempt during the match, it was caught on television cameras.
According to his profile on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics website, Baalla, 22, was ranked No.17 in the 91 kilogram men’s heavyweight category at the 2019 World Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia. That same year, according to the profile, he was ranked No.2 in the heavyweight division at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco.
Baalla, from Casablanca, secured a place in the Moroccan national team at the 2020 African Olympic qualifying tournament in Dakar, Senegal.
“I don’t have the right words to really describe how I feel,” Baalla said at the time, according to the Olympics Live Blog which covered the African qualifiers. “I’m going to the Olympics! I have trained so hard, you can’t imagine what I do for it.
After the match, officials disqualified Baalla from the Tokyo Games.
Baalla’s desperate gesture was reminiscent of Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ears during a heavyweight championship fight in Las Vegas in 1997. Tyson was disqualified in the third round and Holyfield needed stitches to fix the tip of an ear.
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