Morocco’s Youness Baalla was disqualified from the Olympics on Tuesday after he attempted to bite the ear of New Zealand boxer David Nyika, organizers said.
The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist was dominating Baalla in the first two rounds of the men’s heavyweight Round of 16 bout when a frustrated Baalla attempted to bite the ear of Nyika.
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“He didn’t get a full mouthful. Luckily he had his mouthguard in and I was a bit sweaty,” Nyika said after the match, according to Eurosport.com. “I don’t remember what I said to him but I gave him a little bit of a cheek.”
Nyika, who won the fight 5-0, said this isn’t his first brush with the Mike Tyson-like move.
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“I have been bitten once on the chest before at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But c’mon man, this is the Olympics.”
The Boxing Task Force told Reuters in a statement on Tuesday that Baalla was eventually disqualified for unsportsmanlike behavior after he “very clearly intended to bite the ear/face of his opponent in the third round of the bout.”
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Nyika posted a picture of the close call on his Instagram with the caption “somebody’s got a sweet-tooth” but posted another picture shortly after asking people not to reach out to Baalla in retaliation.
“The heat of battle can bring the best AND the worst out of people,” he wrote. “This is part of sport. I have nothing but respect for my opponent and can appreciate the frustration he must have felt. Please don’t reach out to him if you have nothing nice to say.”