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Nyika primed for final shot at Rio

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/06/2016

David Nyika poses during the New Zealand Olympic team's Rio 2016 portrait session in February. © Michael Bradley/Getty Images David Nyika poses during the New Zealand Olympic team's Rio 2016 portrait session in February. David Nyika is full of confidence as he prepares for his final shot at qualifying for the Olympics at a knockout tournament in Azerbaijan later this month.

The 20-year-old who won gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games as a light heavyweight has fully recovered from injuries to both his hands and is ready for action in Baku.

Nyika has only lost twice since moving up to the heavyweight division and on both occasions it was to Uzbekistan's Rustam Tulaganov in bouts that could have gone either way.

"Knowing that I can mix it up with the top five in the world is definitely a booster.

"I have beaten four or five Olympians who have already qualified so to have that in the back of my mind is really reassuring," he said.

The Hamilton boxer is also unconcerned by calls that he should return to the division where he had success in Scotland.

"My record is pretty similar as a light heavyweight. It's not a big deal to me at all having lost to the number three in the world as I put on good performances against him.

"I'm really happy with the climb up to the 91kg division - it's definitely not an option to go back to 81kg so I keep that right out of my mind."

Nyika is also untroubled by the International Boxing Association decision to allow professionals to compete in Rio.

"To be honest what I'm doing here is all that I'm focusing on.

"I don't really care who I fight - it's just going to come down to me and another guy and whether or not they have made some money from punching people isn't going to make a difference.

Nyika leaves on Friday and must win the Azerbaijan tournament to compete in Brazil.

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