Commonwealth Games: David Nyika, from Wonder Kid to Comeback Kid

Many athletes face adversity in their careers, but for his "age", Kiwi boxer David Nyika has had more than most.  

After Commonwealth Games gold in 2014, things took a turn for Nyika, losing a coach and missing out on Olympic selection. But now, he’s back swinging.

Just weeks out from the Commonwealth Games, Nyika is "fighting hard" and "fighting back".

At the Glasgow Games four years ago, he made a name for himself, a gold medallist at just 18 years old.

"It was totally surreal and like you say, yeah, I was high on life," Nyika told Newshub.

But with those highs came many lows. The first was failing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Soon after, he split with long-time coach Rik Ellis. That meant he lost his gym and was forced to train under the floodlights of a Hamilton carpark.

It’s an experience he says changed him. 

"I’ve been humbled by boxing so many times that I’ve had to grow, I’ve had to mature. I’ve had to take adversity as it comes and I’m a pretty mellow character now".

Nyika's road to redemption could be just around the corner with the Gold Coast Games just weeks away.

But while most athletes have a coach in tow, David still doesn't. Older brother Josh is taking the reins.

"If I think I can see something that needs to be changed, I can talk about it with him, but there's no hierarchical thing where I’m telling him what to do or he's telling me what to do. We kind of work things out together"

The Commonwealth Games challenge won't be easy - Nyika has five fights in 10 days - but he says that's something that won't stop him going the distance

It’s an attitude that's been forged from tough times.

"These hurdles have been a huge challenge and I think time will tell how that will affect me. I think everyone will see on the day or on the days."

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