Boxer with Nazi tattoos sparks outrage as fight streamed by major broadcaster

The Italian boxing world has been plunged into disrepute after a major broadcaster in the country live streamed a fight featuring a man sporting fascist tattoos and Nazi symbols on his body.

Gazzetta dello Sport screened a superweight champion bout on Sunday night.

Involved in the fight were Hassan Nourdine, a Morocco-born naturalised Italian, and Michele Broili, whose chest is covered with “obscene” tattoos including an SS logo and the number 88, often used by neo-Nazis to replace the letters HH or ‘Heil Hitler’.

Authorities are currently investigating how someone with such tattoos could become a member the Italian Boxing Federation.

Nourdine said he was shocked when he saw his opponent’s tattoos after entering the ring, and said these is “no justification” for having such symbols inked on his body.

“Seeing Broili’s tattoos glorifying Nazism disgusted me,” Nourdine, 34, told Italian newspaper La Stampa.

“[The IBF] should have realised this boxer had certain leanings – the incitement of hatred is punishable by law.”

Broili had participated in 16 fights prior to entering the ring on Sunday.

Nourdine defeated his opponent – a victory which felt all the more sweet to the migrant boxer.

Michele Brioli had taken part in 16 fights before facing Hassan Nourdine
Michele Broili had taken part in 16 fights before facing Hassan Nourdine

“I cannot deny that beating someone with those tattoos is a victory worth double,” Nourdine said.

According to local media, authorities in Trieste are looking into whether Broili can face criminal charges.

It is illegal to revive fascism in Italy, but this rule is rarely enforced. The prosecution would have to prove that Broili was trying to revive the movement by his gesture.

Boxer with Nazi tattoos sparks outrage as fight streamed by major broadcaster

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The IBF stated that its members should not engage in discriminatory behavior, but it didn’t explain how Broili was able to join the body and participate in so many fights with no red flags being raised.

The under-fire fighter has not commented on the situation, though coach Denis Conte said: “Michele only talks about sport and only wants to do sport.

“Michele is the prototype of the athlete who wakes up at four in the morning to train.”

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