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Extraordinary scenes unfolded in the men's super heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games on Sunday after a French fighter's stunning disqualification.
Super heavyweight Mourad Aliev furiously argued his disqualification from the Tokyo Games, flying into a rage before holding a ringside sit-in protest for nearly an hour.
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Aliev's quarter-final bout against Briton Frazer Clarke was stopped with four seconds left in the second round after referee Andy Mustacchio penalised the Frenchman for an intentional head butt.
Aliev was outraged, spitting out his mouth guard and kicking it before punching at a TV camera.
He then sat down ring-side, hardly moving for half an hour on the canvas just outside the ropes and above the steps leading down to the arena floor.
"This was my way of showing that the decision was so unfair," Aliev said through a translator.
"I wanted to fight against all that injustice, and honestly today, also my teammates had unfair results. I trained my whole life for this, and I came into here, and because of one referee's decision, I lost. It's over."
He then got up and spoke briefly with officials, only to return and sit at the same spot about 15 minutes later.
The stunning protest divided the boxing world, with some viewers condemning the boxer's actions while others blamed officials for the decision to disqualify him.
Mourad Aliev furious after DQ
The quarter-final result secured at least a bronze for Clarke, who empathised with the Frenchman.
"I felt there was a couple of heads going in but whether it's intentional or not I don't know," said Clarke, who sustained a cut around his left eye.
"I'm not going to stand here and say he did it on purpose because I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted his Olympics to end in the way they have.
"I told him to calm down because I've been in those situations before. "The last thing I want him to do is damage his reputation or be rude to the judges and officials, because they are only doing their job."
Aliev protested vocally and emphatically immediately after the bout, yelling to the mostly empty arena: "Everyone knows I won!"
He also refused Clarke's attempts to calm him.
Aliev won the first round on three of the five judges' scorecards in what was a close fight.
Aliev's bout with Clarke was the final fight of the afternoon session, which meant the next bout wasn't scheduled for more than three hours at the Kokugikan Arena.
Olympic boxing's most famous protest occurred in 1988 in Seoul, when South Korean bantamweight Byun Jung-il refused to leave the ring after being penalised two points for using his head illegally.
Byun stayed in the ring for over an hour, and Seoul officials eventually turned out the lights.
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