Boxer Confuses Fans and Sports Bettors by Giving Up as Fight Began

Posted on: September 13, 2022, 07:42h. 

Last updated on: September 13, 2022, 06:20h.

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.

Newfel Ouatah
Newfel Ouatah kneels at the start of a recent boxing match. As the bout began, he threw in the towel, upsetting fans and sports bettors. (Image: Canada Detail Zero)

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 could 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.

Ouatah’s action went viral on social networks, as it was considered one of the biggest fiascos in the history of boxing. Everyone wanted to know what had happened. Allegations of match-fixing, social protest, and more surfaced.

The 36-year-old Ouatah, with a 23-18 record (10 by KO), explained his decision on Monday. He said the French Boxing Federation didn’t provide him with health insurance. Ouatah asserted that the organization rejected his request for coverage, forcing him to take action.

However, how he brought the subject to light could be seen as wrong and 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 with 20 wins by KO. Now, he can tack on another following the judge’s ruling.

The shortest world title fight ever lasted 20 seconds, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. While this match wasn’t being fought at that level, 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 decided and sat down to watch the fight, they never expected everything to end so soon. They also never expected such a strange outcome.

Sportsbooks have different policies regarding how they pay out for unusual sports events. Many 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.