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Referee Paula Falorni was inadvertently struck in the face during the super-heavyweight contest between Maxime Yegnong Njiego and Sagar Ahlawat at the Commonwealth Games

Referee Sofia Falorni was punched in the face as she officiated a super-heavyweight contest at the Commonwealth Games

A referee briefly showcased her impressive ability to take a punch as she was hit in the face by a super-heavyweight boxer at the Commonwealth Games and barely flinched.

While in professional boxing the top two divisions are cruiserweight and then heavyweight, amateur boxing names them heavyweight and super-heavyweight respectively. There were a lot of powerful punches exchanged between the two fighters, but referee Paula Falorni was not supposed to be the recipiant of one of them.

Ultimately, Yegnong Njieyo couldn’t land as many tough shots on his actual opponent, and went on to lose fairly comfortably. Ahlawat is making his debut at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the 20-year-old claimed a 5-0 win via decision.

Maxime Yegnong Njiego immediately apologised to the referee after hitting her in the face with a wayward punch

After the contest, Ahlawat shared a round-up to his Instagram account although it was clear it was written by a social media team or a stand-in while the athlete is competing. It read: “SAGAR THROUGH TO QUARTERS!


“Sagar Ahlawat in full beast mode as he uses his jabs, crosses and hooks to perfection against Cameron’s Maxime Yegnong in the men’s 92kg+ bout. Unanimous Decision victory!

“More power to you going ahead, Sagar!”


The Indian will face Keddy Agnes of the Seychelles in the quarter-finals.

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