TOKYO (NEXSTAR) — A heavyweight boxer from Morocco apparently tried to take a bite out of his New Zealand opponent’s ear in their opening bout at the Tokyo Olympics.
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Youness Baalla’s attempt to fight like Mike Tyson occurred late in the third round of his loss to David Nyika during a clinch in the center of the ring.
The bite didn’t appear to have any teeth and Nyika advanced to the quarterfinals by unanimous decision. The referee didn’t see the bite.
“He didn’t get a full mouthful. Luckily he had his mouthguard in and I was a bit sweaty,” Nyika told Reuters. “I don’t remember what I said to him but I gave him a little bit of cheek.”
Nyika said it wasn’t the first time that an opponent tried to use their teeth on him – another boxer bit him in the chest during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. But he was surprised it happened in Tokyo, adding, ” … c’mon man, this is the Olympics.”
Baalla wasn’t penalized during the bout but Nyika won handily anyway. Tyson famously bit Evander Holyfield’s ear twice in 1997.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.