TOKYO – Boxing fans had some more controversy to chew on during the Tokyo Olympics: Bite Fight II.
Moroccan boxer Youness Baalla, took a page out of Mike Tyson’s arsenal on Tuesday as he attempted to bite David Nyika, his opponent in the Olympics heavyweight division on Tuesday.
It did not make a difference in the match, as Nyika, 25, a two-time gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games, took a 5-0 victory to reach the quarterfinals, the BBC reported.
“Did you see that? I don’t think the ref saw it,” Nyika told reporters via Eurosport after the match. “She was the closest one.”
The actions of Baalla, 22, were reminiscent of the 1997 fight between Tyson and Evander Holyfield, when the former heavyweight champion chomped down and bit off a part of his opponent’s ear and attempted to bite his other one during a WBA heavyweight championship bout in Las Vegas.
“He didn’t get a full mouthful. Luckily he had his mouthguard in and I was a bit sweaty,” Nyika said. “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.”
Nyika easily won the first two rounds at the Kokugikan Arena with crisp jabs, and was having his way in the third round when Baalla lost his temper and tried to bite Nyika’s ear, Sports Illustrated reported. Nyika was surprised but managed to pull away from Baalla in time.
The two boxers were immediately separated, NBC Sports reported.
A spokesperson for the Moroccan Olympics contingent in Tokyo did not respond to an email requesting comment, according to The Guardian.
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