A boxer from Morocco competing in the Tokyo Olympics was disqualified Tuesday after he tried to bite his opponent’s ear during a match.
According to a video of the moment shared by Fox Sports Australia commentator Ben Damon on Twitter, Youness Baalla put his arms around New Zealand’s David Nyika and brought his mouth to Nyika’s ear.
Before Baalla could get a good grip on Nyika’s earlobe, the New Zealand boxer pushed him away.
— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) July 27, 2021
“He didn’t get a full mouthful. Luckily he had his mouthguard in and I was a bit sweaty,” Nyika said, according to Eurosport.
“I don’t remember what I said to him, but I gave him a little bit of a cheek. I have been bitten once on the chest before at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But c’mon man, this is the Olympics.”
“Ooo, hello. The frustration threatening to boil over there for Youness Baalla. He just needs to settle down,” Eurosport’s commentators said as Baalla tried to grab Nyika’s ear with his teeth, according to the outlet.
“He almost lost the plot completely there. That could have been an act of absolute madness.”
Baalla lost the match and was later disqualified for “unsportsmanlike” conduct, the New Zealand outlet Stuff reported.
Though his being disqualified didn’t change the match’s outcome, officials determined that Baalla “very clearly intended to bite the ear/face of his opponent,” the report said.
According to The Guardian, Baalla was regularly troubled by Nyika’s “pinpoint” jabs during the match, which saw Nyika win the first two rounds, possibly leading the Moroccan to lose his cool.
“To all the people coming from New Zealand … with all my respect to this country but you’re not showing respect to yourselves,” Baalla wrote in an Instagram story hours after the match, according to Stuff.
“I will not answer any bad DM or comment from you and sorry I have big things waiting for me,” he said.
Nyika defended Baalla in an Instagram post telling people not to “reach out to him if you have nothing nice to say.”
“The heat of battle can bring the best AND the worst out of people. This is part of sport. I have nothing but respect for my opponent and can appreciate the frustration he must have felt,” the New Zealander said.
Through to the quarter finals!
— The New Zealand Team (@TheNZTeam) July 27, 2021
A representative of Morocco’s Olympics delegation did not respond to ESPN’s request for comment.
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