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Nyika ready to prove boxing point

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6 days ago

Kiwi boxer David Nyika is keen to make a statement when he looks to defend his Oceania title on the Gold Coast next week.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist will likely face Jason Whateley, the man he defeated for the title in Canberra two years ago.

Nyika also beat the Australian heavyweight in Auckland last year with a fractured hand.

However the 21-year-old missed out on fighting at last year's Olympics when an unfriendly draw in qualifying tournament meant the Victorian qualified for Rio at his expense.

"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," Nyika said.

If he finishes in the top two at the event in the city where next year's Commonwealth Games will be held, Nyika will qualify for August's world championships in Germany.

He's bringing some impressive form into the Oceania Championships, having just returned from competing in the prestigious World Series of Boxing.

He went undefeated fighting for the British Lion Hearts, knocking out a French opponent before defeating the competition's top-ranked fighter, Kazakhstan's Anton Pinchuk.

"I was ranked 25 myself so that was a big confidence boaster," said Nyika, who is planning on returning to the league next year.

"It's like a gateway to the professional ranks where you come up against both amateur and professional boxers in five-round contests.

"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."

Nyika remains undecided about when he will turn professional, leaving that decision until after the Commonwealth Games.

"There are a lot of options available for me but it's just about picking the right one and really smashing it."

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