Will Smith hit Chris Rock ‘like a girl’, says Russian slapping king
Will Smith’s striking technique left much to be desired when he attacked Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, according to Russian slapping champion Vasily Kamotskiy.
Smith shocked the world at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony when he rose from his seat to slap Rock on stage after the comedian had made a gag about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss.
The blow left the audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in stunned silence and soon went viral, with observers scrutinizing every detail of the incident and debating which of the parties involved was most at fault.
But one man distinctly unimpressed was Russian behemoth Kamotskiy.
The Siberian giant is someone who knows more than a thing or two about delivering the kind of strike that Smith unleashed on stage, albeit in a competition setting.
Kamotskiy’s slapping prowess saw him propelled to global renown in 2019 when he won the Male Slapping Championships in Krasnoyarsk.
Slapping competitions have since grown in popularity, with man mountain Kamotskiy – nicknamed ‘Dumpling’ – boasting 170,000 followers on Instagram.
He weighed in on Smith’s effort which left Rock stunned but seemingly without any significant damage.
“It was a weak blow, he didn’t put his body into it,” scorned Kamotskiy to Sports.ru.
“And he struck from top to bottom, you need to strike from the bottom up, or at least from the side. In general, he hit like a girl. Just like they hit in all [American] movies.”
Since exploding to broader fame with his slapping exploits in Siberia, Kamotskiy has tried his hand at other combat sports, including bare-knuckle boxing.
Meanwhile, slapping events have gone from strength to strength, with the Slap Fighting Championship promoted by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Logan Paul even offering to put on an official bout between Smith and Rock to settle their differences.
Smith issued an apology to Rock on Monday after the incident marred a night on which he won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams – father of superstar tennis siblings Venus and Serena Williams – in the movie ‘King Richard’.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” wrote Smith on Instagram.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.
“Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness…
“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress,” added Smith.
Thousand words right now when Will Smith slaps Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/O31850Qx74— Reda (@RedaMor_) March 28, 2022
Rock had initially responded to the moment by saying on stage, “Wow, wow… Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.”
The comedian, 57, has earned praise from the likes of UFC boss Dana White for the way he withstood the blow.
“FINALLY!!!!! there's an Oscars show worth watching,” White tweeted to his 5.8 million followers. “AND [Chris Rock] has a chin.”
Rock has reportedly declined to press charges against Smith but has not yet issued a public statement on the matter.