Tokyo: A French super heavyweight boxer sat on a ringside protest for nearly an hour after being disqualified for headbutting at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
Mourad Aliev was disqualified with four seconds left in the second round against Frazer Clarke of Great Britain for headbutt in the quarterfinal bout at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena. Aliev, who won the first round in a close fight, had been given a warning over the excessive usage of the head.
The referee, Andrew Mustacchio of the USA determined Aliev intentionally used his head to clash with Clarke, who got significant cuts near both his eyes. On seeing his disqualification, an agitated Aliev spat out his mouth guard and punched a TV camera trying to zoom in.
He then sat down alone on the edge of the ring for more than 30 minutes. After exiting for 15 minutes, the 26-year-old returned to the spot again before leaving the ring for going to the mixed zone. His sit-in protest at the ringside lasted for an hour. In between, French officials spoke to him and gave water.
Later, through two Instagram stories, Aliev said, “Thank you for all your messages before, during and after. I am suffering an injustice. I am disqualified for no reason. After deliberation the judges recognizing my victory but don’t give me victory because it’s too late. It’s already written on the paper.”
He further said, “The referees are incompetent. 4 years of sacrifice for nothing. Olympic boxing is real shit. I am truly disappointed, sad and disgusted. See you in professional.”
As the bout was the last fight of the first session, the protest did not stall the proceedings of the day. The second session of boxing events begins at 5pm Tokyo time.
The boxing tournament in the Tokyo Olympics are being run by a special task force instead of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) suspended by the IOC in 2019.
Clarke, now assured of a medal after reaching the semifinals, will now face Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan, who earlier defeated India’s Satish Kumar in the quarterfinals by unanimous decision.