Undoubtedly one of the most remarkable images from day four of the Olympics: boxer Youness Baalla appeared to want to take a bite out of the ear of his New Zealand opponent David Nyika. Unlike Mike Tyson at Evander Holyfield in 1997, the Moroccan couldn’t really bite the bullet. “He probably just tasted a lot of sweat,” Nyika said afterward.
During the third round of his eighth final at these Games, the lights went out for Moroccan boxer Youness Baalla (22). He tried to bite his New Zealand opponent David Nyika (25) in the ear, but he was able to turn away just in time. The referee did not notice the incident, and the match continued. Nyika eventually won easily on points (5-0), and Baalla was disqualified afterward.
The New Zealander reacted laconically to the incident at ESPN afterward: “He probably tasted a lot of sweat. He didn’t get a full bite. Luckily he had his mouthguard on, and I was a little sweaty.” Nyika also recalled getting bitten in the chest at the Commonwealth Games: “But come on man, these are the Olympics.”
Baalla himself has not yet responded to the incident, which was still criticized on social media. The Moroccan received a lot of negative comments and hatred there but could count on the support of his ‘victim’.
After all, Nyika called on an Instagram post to stop doing that: “The heat of battle can bring the best AND the worst out of people. This is part of the 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.”