Bruised and overwhelmed, David Nyika was kicking again with fried hen and pizza whereas reflecting on what’s more likely to be his solely look at an Olympics earlier than turning to the skilled boxing ranks.
The Hamilton heavyweight will return from Tokyo with a bronze medal after losing via split decision (4-1) against the gold medal favourite, Russian world champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, within the semifinals of the 81-91kg division on Tuesday.
Accumulating New Zealand’s first Olympic boxing medal since David Tua’s bronze in Barcelona in 1992 – and the nation’s fourth after Ted Morgan’s gold in Amsterdam in 1928 – places Nyika in esteemed firm.
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The 25-year-old’s loss to Gadzhimagomedov that dominated him out of Friday’s gold medal match was “bittersweet”, he stated, realizing his golden dream was gone.
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Nonetheless, he stated claiming a bronze after ready 5 years to grace the Olympic stage was one thing to be pleased with.
“I really feel like I’ve been in a struggle, which I suppose is an effective factor, however I took the bloke [Gadzhimagomedov] to deep waters and sadly didn’t come out on prime,” Nyika stated from Tokyo.
“It is laborious, but it surely’s sport. That is boxing.
“Incomes my solution to a medal was an enormous a part of that Olympic dream. I may be pleased with myself, however I needed simply that little bit extra. I’m grasping like that.”
Luis Robayo – Pool/Getty Pictures
His change to changing into a full-time skilled, one thing he has said would happen after the Tokyo Games, appears imminent after extending his novice profession to struggle on the Olympics.
The 2-time Commonwealth Video games gold medallist had deliberate to show skilled after the 2016 Rio Olympics, however he did not qualify and waited till Tokyo for an additional shot.
Nyika has all however dominated out one other Olympic marketing campaign on the Paris Video games in 2024. He could be 28 and is aware of higher than anybody how difficult it may be to qualify for the Olympics.
The custom of boxing being an solely novice sport on the Olympics changed in 2016, with professionals being admitted.
Nyika waited 5 years to compete in Tokyo and the tantalising prospect of profitable fights as an expert are on the horizon.
“My thoughts is broad open. I’ve given one of the best account of myself that I presumably can. The world’s my oyster proper now,” Nyika stated.
“I am hoping there’ll be a couple of affords on the desk. It actually saddens me to assume that this is likely to be my final [Olympic] Video games. It has been particular to be a part of this crew.”
He made his skilled debut as a cruiserweight in Auckland in February, beating Jesse Maio in 29 seconds, earlier than turning his attentions to Tokyo.
“I’ve accomplished my apprenticeship. I don’t really feel like I’m making a dwelling from novice boxing. If that have been to vary, I’d think about it,” Nyika stated.
“However, in the meanwhile, I really feel like I want to begin constructing a nest egg for all times after boxing.”
Nyika will step as much as the rostrum to obtain his bronze medal after Friday’s closing between Gadzhimagomedov and Cuba’s Julio César la Cruz.
Gadzhimagomedov landed an enormous right-hand to jolt Nyika again on to the ropes within the first spherical and the Kiwi, regardless of preventing again within the second, by no means actually gained a lot management after that highly effective punch.
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Nyika went laborious from the primary bell in a quick, high quality contest, however there was no disputing that Gadzhimagomedov was the winner of an entertaining struggle that was scored 4-1 in his favour.
The Russian’s awkward however agile stance gave him a bonus in his second win over Nyika after their final assembly on the 2019 novice world championships.
“I used to be most likely too eager, however boxing is a chaotic sport like that,” Nyika stated, accepting the outcome.
“He utilized some strain that I used to be anticipating, however I wasn’t fairly in a position to cope with.”
After giving all the things to go for gold, Nyika comes properties with bronze after dwelling his Olympic dream in Tokyo.
New Zealand’s Olympic boxing medals
1928, Amsterdam: Gold for Ted Morgan (males’s welterweight)
1984, Los Angeles: Silver for Kevin Barry (males’s gentle heavyweight)
1992, Barcelona: Bronze for David Tua (males’s heavyweight)
2021, Tokyo: Bronze for David Nyika (males’s heavyweight)
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