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In-form Nyika eyes Oceania boxing title

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017

Commonwealth Games boxing champion David Nyika is primed for the Oceania championships after a successful stint competing at a high-profile competition in Europe.

Waikato fighter Nyika went undefeated fighting for the British Lion Hearts in the World Series of Boxing, a franchise-based amateur championship in which the fighters can earn money but retain their amateur status.

Amateur and professional boxers fight each other in five-round contests featuring none of the additional protective wear traditionally worn by amateurs.

The highlight for 21-year-old Nyika was a win over the WSB'S top-ranked fighter, Anton Pinchuk of Kazakhstan.

"I love the longer rounds and it gives me a bit more time to settle into my work and the competition is also another way to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics," he said.

Nyika's next target is to qualify for the world championships in Hamburg in August.

To qualify, he must finish in the top two at the Oceania Champions on the Gold Coast this month.

Nyika's main rival will once again be Australian Jason Whateley, who he has beaten twice, including once with a fractured hand.

The New Zealand boxer has a point to prove after missing out on qualifying for the Rio Olympics last year while the Victorian competed in Brazil.

"That was a bitter pill to swallow but hopefully we can prove again why we should have been at the Games and why we should be at the next," he said.

Nyika also has one eye on next years Commonwealth Games where he will try and become the first Kiwi boxer to win back to back gold medals.

He won the light heavyweight title in Glasgow 2014 but has since switched to the heavyweight ranks.

"I'm looking forward to doing some scouting and hopefully we can get a handle on what to expect in April," he said.

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