In his professional boxing debut this past weekend, Youness Baalla pulled off a bit of a Mike Tyson punch-out against the formidable Olympic gold medalist Youssef Alian, knocking him down for the first time in his life. The punch didn’t hit the target, but Baalla did the unexpected and took the fight to the judges. The bout was held at the 2023 Tokyo Olympics, which will take place in two years, and it will be held at the Sumo Hall.
This year, the 2023 Tokyo Olympics will feature one unique event: The Shaolin Kasei Karate Championship. The event will be the first time martial arts will be held at the Olympics, and considering the popularity of the sport in Japan, it was crucial to ensure the sport would be included. To ensure a strong showing for the sport, the Japanese government has organized a competition pitting the best boxers in the world against a team of five Japanese karatekas, who will use karate to fight off the top five boxers from the world.
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The 2023 Tokyo Olympics have already provided plenty of excitement and drama. Simone Biles, an American gymnast, dropped out of the women’s team competition on Tuesday morning, adding to the drama.
Biles’ withdrawal drew a lot of attention, and rightfully so. She is, without a doubt, the greatest gymnast of all time. Even yet, there was one particularly vexing Olympic incident in the squared circle that has gone mostly unnoticed so far.
Youness Baalla, a Moroccan boxer, performed his best Mike Tyson impersonation on his opponent, New Zealand’s David Nyika, in this instance.
At the Olympics, Moroccan fighter Youness Baalla attempted to bite his opponent’s ear.
No, this is not a hyperbole.
Baalla and Nyika fought for a place in the men’s heavyweight boxing quarterfinals early on Tuesday. At least until the third round, the fight seemed to be fair.
Nyika, who looked to be ahead on the scoreboards, tangled Baalla in the ring. Baalla tried to rip a piece out of Nyika’s ear, which caught the New Zealander off guard. Before the battle could continue, the referee separated the two combatants.
Despite Nyika’s dissatisfaction with the referee’s failure to notice the bite attempt, there was no issue for the rest of the round or in the aftermath of the bout.
“Did you happen to notice that? I don’t believe the referee noticed it. Nyika told Reuters, “She was the closest one.”
Nyika won the match and advances to the Olympic quarterfinals. After the bout, Baalla was disqualified because the boxing task force in charge of the Tokyo boxing tournament was notified of his violation and said that he “obviously meant” to bite Nyika.
In the end, the disqualification didn’t matter much. On the scoreboards, Nyika won 5-0. Still, it was an odd time in Olympic history.
Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield in 1997 was a similar situation
Baalla’s attempt to bite reminded me of an altercation between heavyweight superstars Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
In 1997, Tyson faced Holyfield for the WBA Heavyweight Championship. It was the second battle between the two, with Holyfield defeating Tyson, who had been highly favored, only seven months before.
In the second battle, there was no lack of weirdness. Early on, Holyfield had the upper hand, and he added insult to injury by inadvertently headbutting Tyson. Iron Mike became irritated (he had previously complained about headbutts) and began the third round by clinching Holyfield and chewing off a piece of his ear.
The battle unexpectedly continued, much like the Baalla-Nyika fight. Until Tyson attempted to bite Holyfield’s other ear, that is. Tyson was disqualified, and the incident became a defining event in his career.
What additional drama will the 2023 Tokyo Olympics bring?
During his fight with New Zealand’s David Nyika, Moroccan boxer Youness Baalla delivered the latest Olympic drama | James Chance/Getty Images
Baalla’s “Tyson-like” moment is just the most recent news in Tokyo.
The men’s basketball team of the United States shocked spectators by losing their first game in group play. Lydia Jacoby, a 17-year-old swimming prodigy, won the gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke. After injuring his Achilles tendon, Russian gymnast Artur Dalaloyan helped his team win the gold medal. Hidilyn Diaz, a Filipino weightlifter, earned the first gold medal in her country’s history. Naomi Osaka, a Japanese tennis player, was knocked out in the third round.
Biles then withdrew from the competition on Tuesday. Baalla tried his own stunning moment. Although the Olympics are only in their early stages, they have already produced a spectacular sports event.