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Nyika retains Oceania boxing title

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/06/2017

Heavyweight David Nyika defended his Oceania boxing title over Australian No.1 Jason Whateley on the Gold Coast. © Getty Images Heavyweight David Nyika defended his Oceania boxing title over Australian No.1 Jason Whateley on the Gold Coast. Heavyweight David Nyika has successfully defended his Oceania boxing title with a unanimous points decision win over Australian No.1 Jason Whateley on the Gold Coast.

It's the Hamilton fighter's third straight victory over the Victorian and was sweet redemption after missing out on the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Nyika burst on to the scene at just 18, when he won gold as a light heavyweight at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games three years ago, and now feels he's completed the step up.

"I'm a fully fledged heavyweight now, which has given me a lot of confidence when I can sit and tangle with the likes of Jason, who's a good fighter," he said on Thursday.

The result means the 21-year-old has qualified for the world championships starting in Hamburg in late August.

Nyika isn't expecting an easy ride when he travels to Europe, with a number of Olympians still fighting as amateurs.

"I think most of the medallists are still hanging about as a lot of the boxers from countries like Russia and Kazakhstan don't turn professional, so they're probably just in hibernation," he said.

"We'll be ready for the best of the best and that's all we can train for."

He's also refusing to look too far ahead and the chance of winning another Commonwealth gold in Queensland next April.

"I'm not too worried about studying different opponents at the world champs," he said.

"All I have to do is keep developing like I've been doing and, if all goes well, I'll be in tip-top shape for the Commonwealth Games next year."

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