Moroccan boxer Youness Baalla attempted to bite David Nyika of New Zealand on the ear during the pair’s Olympic heavyweight boxing encounter.
Nyika won the fight by unanimous decision, but he was lucky not to come away from the heavyweight bout injured after Baalla attempted to mimic Mike Tyson‘s infamous moment with an unsuccessful ear bite.
The New Zealander was largely unperturbed by the incident but was surprised nonetheless.
Mike Tyson or Youness Baalla? 😲
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) July 27, 2021
‘He didn’t get a full mouthful.’
“Did you see that? I don’t think the ref saw it. She was the closest one,” Nyika, 25, said, adding that his opponent probably tasted a lot of sweat.
“He didn’t get a full mouthful. Luckily he had his mouthguard in and I was a bit sweaty. I don’t remember what I said to him but I gave him a little bit of cheek.
“I have been bitten once on the chest before at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But come on man this is the Olympics.”
David Nyika tales to Instagram to defend Youness Baalla.
While the Moroccan boxer was already out of the Olympics having lost to Nyika, he was later disqualified for the attempted bite on the grounds of unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Nyika will fight Uladzislau Smiahlikau next in the quarter-finals of the men’s Olympic heavyweight division, where a win would guarantee him at least a bronze medal.
The New Zealander took to Instagram after the fight to urge boxing fans not to send any abuse towards Baalla for the attempted bite.
View this post on Instagram
“The heat of battle can bring the best and the worst out of people. This is part of sport,” Nyika wrote.
“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.”