It should have been just like any other boxing match, but one fighter threw a right hook into the whole affair. The bout last Friday between Newfel Ouatah and Simon Kean will have fans and sports bettors talking for decades.
Ouatah, a French boxer, lost the match by TKO. However, he recorded it without receiving a single blow. As the starting bell rang and the two fighters exited their corners in an anticipated pugilistic power struggle, Ouatah dropped to a knee.
In 16 seconds, the bout at the Montreal Casino in Montreal, Canada, was over. As soon as the referee could figure out what had just happened, he declared Kean the winner.
It wasn’t until a few days later that Ouatah explained that his actions were not an attempt to draw attention to a miscarriage of justice or world hunger. Instead, the cousin of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema simply bowed out because he didn’t have insurance.
No Chance for Glory
It would be the most controversial surrender in the history of boxing. Even Kean was confused and tried to deliver a crushing blow as his opponent knelt. The ref, however, jumped in and prevented a possible catastrophe.
Logically, the protest action went viral on social networks as it was considered one of the biggest fiascos in the history of the box. Everyone wanted to know what had happened. Allegations of match-fixing, social protest and more surfaced.
Later, the referee conferred with judges and announced that Ouatah threw in the towel, ending the fight. Therefore, the Frenchman lost by TKO, according to the final report.
The 36-year-old Ouatah, with a 23-18 record (10 by KO), explained his decision on Monday. He said it was because the French Boxing Federation did not provide him with health insurance. Ouatah asserted that the organization rejected his request for coverage, forcing him to take action.
However, the manner in which he brought the subject to light was wrong and could have repercussions. He likely won’t receive any money and an investigation could lead to a sanction or suspension.
Making matters worse, Ouatah had insurance. If he had discussed the issue with Eye of The Tiger Management, which promoted the fight, he would have learned that it provides insurance for the fights it puts together.
Kean was 21-1 heading into the match. Of the wins, 20 were by KO. Now, he can tack on another following the judges’ ruling.
The shortest world title fight ever lasted 20 seconds, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. While this match wasn’t at that level of superiority, it will still register as one of the quickest fights ever.
Sports Bettors Miffed
Sports bettors had a lot to consider before the fight. Both Ouatah and Kean had winning records, although Kean has been more consistent. On the other hand, Ouatah also had more experience in the professional ring.
When bettors finally made their choices and sat down to watch the fight, they never expected everything to end so soon. They also never expected such a strange outcome.
Different sportsbooks have different policies regarding how they pay out unusual sports events. Many, however, take the position that if there’s a winner, there’s a competition. In this case, there was, with Kean earning the TKO, and sportsbooks had to pay all winning bets.
They likely didn’t break the bank, though. Kean had considerably favorable odds for the win. Backing Ouatah as the underdog would have yielded a massive payday, but he gave up on himself and his supporters.
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