Former Arsenal and Man Utd star Henrikh Mkhitaryan punched in Europa League clash for AS Roma

Mohamed Ali Camara and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

There’s something about the perception of boxing that has bizarrely changed over the last few years. 

Yes, much of boxing’s appeal lays in its simplicity, which in turn makes it the most universal sport in the world. 

But suddenly, everybody seems to fancy themselves as a have-a-go-brawler, as if boxing isn’t an extremely dangerous sport that’s actually just two people punching each other in the face until one can’t stand up anymore. 

First it was Conor McGregor thinking he could beat one of the greatest boxers in the world. Then it was the YouTubers setting up their own mini-boxing league, and now professional footballers are doing their best Rocky impressions in the middle of Europa League matches. 

On Thursday night, as Roma beat Young Boys 3-1 in the Europa League, one of the Swiss side’s defenders was sent off in the 82nd minute for quite incredibly taking a swing at former Arsenal and Manchester United winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan. 

As the ball trickled along the touchline, Mkhitaryan first got his foot in front of the Young Boys player’s leg, before turning and trying to get his body between man and ball. 

There didn’t seem to be a whole lot wrong with the challenge, but Young Boys’ no.4 strangely took exception to it, and in a moment of fury reacted by swivelling round and throwing a punch at Mkhitaryan.

The referee responded by instantly sending him off – which, rather bafflingly, the Guinea international didn’t seem too happy about despite quite obviously decking Mkhitaryan in front of everyone, not to mention the ever-ominously anonymous VAR. 

In fairness, the player in question is aptly named Mohamed Ali Camara, so perhaps the 23-year-old was simply channelling his namesake. But ultimately, there’s no room for violence on a footy pitch, even if you do share a name with the greatest boxer of all time.

If this is the kind of carry-on Camara wants to get involved in, we suggest he drops KSI a DM. 

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