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Olympic boxer channels his inner Mike Tyson by biting opponent's ear


Moroccan boxer Youness Baalla channeled the spirit of Mike Tyson during his recent Olympic bout, but not in the way he would have hoped.

Baalla faced New Zealand’s David Nyika in a heavyweight clash during the round of 16 at the Tokyo games, and was handily defeated by his opponent.

But the bout garnered attention when the Moroccan appeared to bite his opponent on the ear, similar to Mike Tyson’s chomp on Evander Holyfield in their 1997 rematch.

Nyika dominated their bout from start to finish, and is now just one fight away from sealing his nation’s first Olympic medal in the sport since 1992.

And in the final round, Baalla appeared to attempt to bite his rival’s ear, but wasn’t punished for the infraction.

“He didn’t get a full mouthful,” Nyika told One News after the event. “Luckily he had his mouthguard in, and I was a bit sweaty.

“But come on man, this is the Olympics, get your s*** together.”



Youness Baalla appeared to try to bite his opponent David Nyika
Youness Baalla appeared to try to bite his opponent David Nyika

Nyika’s feeling about the situation appeared to cool as time went on, and he implored fans to stop sending abusive messages to his opponent.

“The heat of battle can bring the best and the worst out of people,” he said in Instagram post, in which he tagged the New Zealand Olympic team, following the event.

“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,”

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Baalla reportedly received a massive backlash on social media, saying that he received hundreds of nasty Instagram messages following the incident.

“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 on his Instagram story.

“I will not answer any bad DM or comment from you and sorry I have big things waiting for me.”

Former heavyweight champion Tyson famously bit a piece of Holyfield’s ear off during their infamous 1997 rematch in Las Vegas, but luckily Nyika wasn’t so unfortunate.

Tyson was disqualified after a second bite, having taken off a chunk of Holyfield’s left ear during the third round of their bout.

The initial plan was for referee Mills Lane to disqualify him immediately after the initial bite, but when a ringside doctor said the bout could continue, they ended up fighting until Tyson did it again and it was stopped.

Tyson would later claim that he was retaliating to headbutts that Holyfield was throwing, although many fans felt this wasn’t a fair explanation.

Holyfield would ultimately forgive Tyson, citing his religion as the reason for accepting his apology and ultimately befriending the legendary former heavyweight champion.





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