Boxing: David Nyika withdraws from Paris Olympics to focus on professional boxing career

Boxing: David Nyika withdraws from Paris Olympics to focus on professional boxing career

Kiwi boxer David Nyika has decided to withdraw from next year's Paris Olympics to focus on his burgeoning professional career.

Nyika won heavyweight bronze at Tokyo 2020 to claim New Zealand's first boxing medal in 29 years, but the Hamiltonian has decided to prioritise his move up the pro ranks ahead of another podium bid in France, effectively ending his Olympic ambitions.

"This has been a really hard decision to make," said Nyika. "Ultimately, the time commitment needed to be at my best for the Paris Olympics would take too much away from my professional career, so I'm having to call time on another Olympic Games.

"I'd like to thank everyone who's been a part of my Olympic journey, from the trainers and coaches, teammates and support staff, to Boxing NZ High Performance Sport NZ and the NZ Olympic Committee.   

"Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed about going to the Olympics. I'm so thankful to have had that opportunity, and to have carried the flag and won a medal for New Zealand."

Professional boxers have been allowed to participate in the Olympics since 2016, but most choose not to participate, due to the differing rule sets, risk of injury and reduced financial incentives.

Nyika made his pro debut in February 2021 and has since gone undefeated in seven fights, with six of those finishing inside the distance.

Nyika, 28, is also a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, winning the titles at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018.

Selected to defend his gold medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Nyika had to withdraw weeks before with a hand injury.

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