Boxing: Kiwi David Nyika wants more fights to ignite cruiserweight career in 2023

David Nyika has big ambitions in 2023 and isn't making any bones about it, as he starts to make moves in the cruiserweight division. 

Three wins from three fights last year saw him extend his career record to 5-0, but Nyika wants more and wants to be tested. 

"I'd like to stay active," he told Newshub from his Queensland base. I've had niggles [last] year and they've been winding me up. 

"But I'm finally getting all of my ducks in a row here in Australia."

David Nyika against Titi Motusaga.
David Nyika against Titi Motusaga. Photo credit: Getty Images

The 27-year-old hopes the first of those tests will come early in the year, likely around March. 

"I want to get as many fights as I can. I'd say five fights and I'll be happy," he said. "I want to make sure I'm still developing and building towards big fights, big opportunities." 

At times living out of a suitcase - and unpacking it everywhere from Morecambe to Melbourne while diving head first into various camps and opportunities - 2022 was a whirlwind for Nyika. 

From sparring with Tyson Fury and countryman Joseph Parker to picking up a fight on the undercard of the mammoth George Kambosos v Devin Haney world title clash at Marvel Stadium, Nyika's taken everything in his stride.

He was forced to go the five-round distance against Karim Maltalla in June while commanding second-round wins over Louis Masters and fellow Kiwi Titi Motusaga provided different challenges. 

Each time though, Nyika proved too slick and too hot to handle. 

Now, it's time to "settle down" and start the meticulous planning of his path to the top.

"It's been a really character-building year," Nyika concedes. 

"Just spending so much time away from home, I've always been a homebody. So spending so much time away from home, it's been tough. 

"I'm not going to lie but I'm not homesick anymore. I feel I'm with the right people and I know my family is just across the ditch cheering me on."

Any feelings of missing home are replaced by his tunnel vision attitude to training, and dogged determination to get to the top, a trait that won't be easing up any time soon. 

David Nyika.
David Nyika. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I've got some great dreams. I want people to be able to share them with me.

"I'd like to have a family one day I'd like to support. This is the kind of sport [where] you can do anything if you give your heart and soul to it. I've thrown all my eggs in one basket."

His current base in Queensland, Australia looks to be his home for the foreseeable future. Under the guidance of trainer Noel Thornberry, he's found a spot where he can grow. 

As Nyika explains, being content with life outside the ring makes the pain inside it all the more bearable. 

"I'm very happy," he continued. "I tell my girlfriend nearly every day how happy I am in the present.

"Being happy in your surroundings and with the people, the places, the places… and the company I'm in right now, basically defines how I feel about not just where I am but where I'm going.

Above all, Nyika wants to step things up a gear in 2023. 

The Hamiltonian, who's dazzled New Zealand fight fans since he burst onto the scene with Commonwealth Games gold in 2014, backed it up in 2018 and impressed with an Olympic bronze in Tokyo wants brighter lights and bigger stages. 

He's passing his apprenticeship with flying colours, winning four of his five professional fights by knockout. 

Longer, grittier bouts that will test his mind as well as his body are now calling his name and he's now throwing his own voice in that chorus. 

"I'm naturally a slow twitch athlete, I've got Ugandan blood in me. I'm a good distance runner, so I'm looking forward to getting involved in some eight, 10 rounders and eventually 12-round fights."

His belief is strong that when he gets there, Nyika will have more stamina and more power to do real damage to opponents in later rounds, but at the same time he's treading with plenty of caution. 

"I think that's where I'll learn some of my biggest lessons, in good ways and bad ways," Nyika said. "I prepare for a long hard fight and I'm building that attrition now and the ability to go into those late rounds and still be thriving and building and breaking guys down.

"That's really what my strengths have always been, taking guys into deep water and drowning them."