Moroccan boxer Youness Baalla made an attempt to bite New Zealand opponent David Nyika in a round of 16 heavyweight clash at the Tokyo games.
Baalla’s action drew similarities with that of Mike Tyson who chomped on Evander Holyfield’s ear in their 1997 rematch.
Nyika dominated Baalla from start to finish, and is now just one fight away from sealing his nation’s first Olympic medal in the sport since 1992.
And in the final round, Baalla appeared to attempt to bite his rival’s ear, but wasn’t punished for the infraction.
“He didn’t get a full mouthful,” Nyika told One News after the event.
“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’s feeling about the situation appeared to cool as time went on, and he implored fans to stop sending abusive messages to his opponent.
“The heat of battle can bring the best and the worst out of people,” he said in Instagram post, in which he tagged the New Zealand Olympic team, following the event.
“This is part of 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.”
Baalla reportedly received a massive backlash on social media, saying that he received hundreds of nasty Instagram messages following the incident.
“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 on his Instagram story.
“I will not answer any bad DM or comment from you and sorry I have big things waiting for me.”