Furious French boxer stages hour-long ring sit-in after Olympic disqualification: 'An act of sabotage'

·3-min read

An outraged French boxer screamed, kicked his mouthguard and shook a TV camera when he was disqualified at the Olympics on Sunday. 

After the match, he remained on the canvas for an hour-long sit-in to protest the decision.

The incident occurred during Sunday's super heavyweight quarterfinal between France's Mourad Aliev and Great Britain's Frazer Clarke. Referee Andy Mustacchio disqualified Aliev with four seconds remaining in the second round after he determined that Aliev intentionally head-butted Clarke.

Aliev throws tantrum after DQ

Aliev, 26, immediately protested by yelling and gesturing at Mustacchio. He kicked his mouthguard off the canvas and continued to scream and gesture toward the stands. He then approached Clarke, proclaiming "I win, I win." The two then squared off and looked ready for some post-match fisticuffs before walking apart and de-escalating. 

When Clarke was officially announced as the winner of the match, Aliev grabbed a TV camera and looked directly into it while waving his finger and proclaiming "no, no."

Aliev refused to leave the ring

The fighters eventually shook hands. But Aliev remained far from satisfied with the outcome. 

According to Reuters, Aliev didn't leave the ring after the match. He sat on the canvas in protest for 30 minutes. He then left after speaking with French team officials only to return 15 minutes later, where he resumed his sit-in.

"It's totally unfair," Aliev told reporters, per Reuters." "I was winning the match. I was just stopped without any warning and they just told me that 'you lost' - just like that. So I think it was an act of sabotage. ...

"I prepared my whole life for this event. So getting mad for something like that is natural."

The fight was the last of the afternoon session. 

Aug 1, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Mourad Aliev (FRA) refuses to leave the ring after being disqualified in his men's super heavy quarterfinal bout against Frazer Clarke (GBR) during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Kokugikan Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports
Mourad Aliev staged a sit-in to protest his Olympic disqualification. (Andrew P. Scott/Reuters)

Was the disqualification fair?

Aliev was leading the fight on three of five scorecards after the first round. He beat Clarke on June 8 via split decision. He said that Mustacchio didn't warn him he could be disqualified. 

The Associated Press reports that Clarke was left with cuts near both of his eyes and thought the disqualification was fair. 

"I felt there was a couple of heads going in there," Clarke said. "Whether it was intentional or not, that's not for me to say. ... I told [Aliev afterward] to calm down. You're not thinking with your head. You're thinking with your heart. I know it's hard, but the best thing to do is go back to the changing room."

He also expressed sympathy for his disqualified opponent. 

"These things happen," Clarke said. "I've had a lot of downs in my career, a lot of ups and a lot of downs. This is a down for him. I know him, he's a good person. I believe he will be a champion."

With the win, Clarke advances to face Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in Tuesday's super heavyweight semifinal. The winner of that bout will advance to fight for a gold medal.


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