Tokyo Olympics: Boxer David Nyika settles for bronze after heavyweight semi-final loss to world champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov

Kiwi boxer David Nyika will have to settle for an Olympic bronze medal, after falling to Russian world champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov in the heavyweight semi-finals at Tokyo.

Unlike most other Olympics sports, beaten boxing semi-finalists aren't required to fight for bronze medals - they share third spot on the podium.

Nyika navigated his way into the medal rounds with unanimous points wins over Moroccan Youness Baalla and Uladzislau Smiahlikau of Belarus, but found Gadzhimagomedov a class above his previous opposition.

Fighting for the Russian Olympic Committee, Gadzhimagomedov landed some telling blows in the opening round, pinning Nyika on the ropes at one point.

The Kiwi kept his rival at bay for much of the second round with his long reach, but needed to produce something dramatic in the third to snatch victory. Gadzhimagomedov proved too cagey and stayed out of trouble to take the split points decision.

"This wasn't the result I needed and not quite the performance either, but it's been a tough road getting here," he told Sky Sport. "It's been an amazing experience - I've never felt so connected.

"This might be my last outing with this team at a Games and I'm going to miss it."

Nyika's bronze represents New Zealand's fourth boxing at the Olympics. Welterweight Ted Morgan won New Zealand's first-ever gold at Amsterdam 1928, while Kevin Barry captured silver at Los Angeles 1984 and David Tua bronze at Barcelona 1992.

The two-time Commonwealth Games champions has already fought once as a professional - a 29-second knockout of Jesse Maio on the Parker-Fa undercard in February - and no seems destined to turn his attention fulltime to the money game. 

"Right now, this is bittersweet, but this has been the best two weeks of my life," Nyika told Sky Sport. "Just feeling the love from the team, the culture... it's incredible and I'm going to miss it."