Commonwealth Games: David Nyika chasing history as part of NZ boxing team named for Birmingham

  • 23/06/2022

Two-time Commonwealth Games champion David Nyika will lead an eight-strong NZ boxing team to Birmingham next month.

Nyika is eyeing a piece of history, as he tries to become the first boxer to win three consecutive Games gold medals.

The 26-year-old won New Zealand's first Olympics boxing medal in 29 years, when he earned bronze at last year's Tokyo Games and had the honour of being named flagbearer at the opening ceremony.

He's since had two successful professional bouts, learning from trainer Andy Lee in his new base at England's Morecambe, alongside the likes of world champion Tyson Fury and fellow Kiwi Joseph Parker.

"The Commonwealth Games are where I first made my mark, fighting as an 18-year-old in Glasgow," said Nyika. "I always enjoy them, it’s got a really nice feel and there’s always some quality competition as well.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into that NZ team environment and I’ll be doing my best to create history over in Birmingham."

Auckland's Troy Garton is the only other team member with previous Games experience, winning bronze at Gold Coast 2018, where he battled through the pain of a torn ligament to reach the podium.

"I tore [my ACL] in my last training session, before flying out to the Gold Coast,” said Garton. “The medical team looked after me really well and I somehow managed to fight my way to bronze. 

"I then went into surgery two weeks post Games and have come back better than ever."

The other six athletes will all make their Commonwealth Games debuts and have been selected after successful international campaigns, including two-time NZ lightweight champion Alex Mukuka and undefeated Palmertson North native Onyx Lye.

Boxing New Zealand's Mark Keddell believes the team is full of potential and is confident it's capable of bringing home medals.

"This is a really strong team and we know we’re capable of some great results in Birmingham," said Keddell.

Most of the squad will travel to Ireland for a training camp early next month to prepare for the start of Commonwealth competition on July 29.

NZ Commonwealth Games boxing team:

David Nyika - Men's U92kg

Erin Walsh - Women's U57kg

Wendell Stanley - Men's U71kg

Onyx Lye - Men's U80kg

Troy Garton - Women's U60kg

Ariane Nicholson - Women's U70kg

Uila Mau'u - Men's 92+kg

Alex Mukuka - Men's U57kg