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Karim Benzema's cousin baffled fans when he quit just seconds into his boxing fight with Simon Kean.
Newfel Ouatah competes in the heavyweight division and had a respectable professional record of 18-4 going into his latest contest.
He also represented his country, Algeria, at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But his reputation inside the squared circle has taken a bit of a dent after his antics against Kean.
Ouatah had been away from the ring for 15 months prior to his bout at the Montreal Casino on Friday night.
Yet just moments after the first bell tolled, the 36-year-old took a knee and put his right fist in the air, much to the confusion of viewers, the referee and his opponent.
A bemused Kean still caught Ouatah with a left jab before the referee demanded he go back to his corner.
Ouatah had no intention of rising from the canvas and so the fight was waved off after just 16 seconds and a single punch.
The fight, part of an Eye of The Tiger card, was broadcasted live on ESPN+ and on RMC Sport in France, where he resides.
Newfel Ouatah was clearly protesting. Dropped to a knee and raised his fist as soon as the opening bell sounded, though nobody on site knows the reason. Simon Kean annoyed by it, as is promoter Camille Estephan. #KeanOuatah #MbilliWare https://t.co/jIr3uDx00k— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) September 10, 2022
It's since transpired that the reason for the protest and throwing of the fight is because Ouatah was not insured by his local boxing commission.
As per Boxing Scene, He explained his actions and issued an apology.
"[FF Boxe] sent me a letter [on Friday] to inform me that I would not be insured in the event of a problem,” Ouatah wrote on social media.
“This fight that I wanted, I took time off to prepare and the expenses that come with it.
“What I did (in the ring) was a protest. I apologize to everyone and especially Eye of the Tiger Management. You don’t play boxing.”
This was Ouatah's second consecutive defeat and RDS are reporting that he is unlikely to be paid for throwing the fight.