More than 20 years after Mike Tyson’s infamous ear-biting incident, another boxer repeated the desperate maneuver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On Tuesday, Morocco’s Youness Baalla matched up against New Zealand’s David Nyika for the men’s heavyweight. Going into the final round, 25-year-old Nyika held the lead over 22-year-old Baalla. The Moroccan grew more and more frustrated, and New Zealand news outlet Stuff reported that the Olympics boxing referee constantly warned Baalla to stop grabbing Nyika.
But the ref’s warning did no good when Baala went in for a bite on Nyika’s ear during one of those holds.
You can see Baala’s mouth wide open in the New York Post‘s tweet below.
The New York Post compared the incident to Mike Tyson’s 1997 ear-biting incident that led to his fighting license being revoked. Tyson actually took a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s ear lobe.
From the looks of the video on Stuff’s website, Nyika swung his head away at the last moment, causing the Moroccan to pull out of the ear-biting measure. The New Zealander turned to the Olympics ref to complain, but the ref apparently told them to resume play. Stuff reports that the incident didn’t cause Nyika to lose focus, and he still soundly trounced Baala in the final round.
But afterward, Tokyo Olympics officials declared the Moroccan boxer was disqualified for “very clearly intended to bite the ear/face of his opponent,” which was an “intolerable action.”
New Zealand Boxer David Nyika Reacts To Ear-Biting In Olympics Boxing Match
While Nyika’s coach Billy Meehan claimed that the New Zealander “laughed” after the incident, he also felt he definitely got bitten on the cheekbone.
“He didn’t get a full mouthful. Luckily he had his mouthguard in, and I was a bit sweaty, but come on man, this is the Olympics, get your s… together,” Nyika told fellow New Zealand outlet 1News.
Meehan agreed that such an action at the Olympics is uncalled for.
“Not at this level. You don’t expect to see that. You don’t expect to get that and David handled it brilliantly,” the boxing coach said.
Later on, Nyika actually joked about the moment on Instagram, posting a photo of the ear-biting incident. “Somebody’s got a sweet tooth,” the boxer captioned it.
The New York Post reports that Baala has gotten tons of fan hate ever since the Tokyo Olympics incident. So, he called out the haters on his Instagram stories.
“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.
Nyika also hit back at the haters on Instagram, asking people not to reach out “if you have nothing nice to say.”
“Please read: 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,” Nyika captioned it.