David Nyika, the big name in New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games boxing team, had an unusual experience in his first round bout in the 91kg division today.

Nyika utterly outclassed Yakita Aska of Antigua and Barbuda, winning by a massive margin on all five judges’ scorecards.

But along the way the New Zealander copped a couple of clearly low blows and was also bitten on the chest. Afterwards he sported a fairly obvious bite mark.

Aska, who was knocked down twice in the first round, received two warnings from the referee in the third and final round and was fortunate to reach the final bell. He could have been disqualified and the fight could also have been stopped because he was so outclassed.

He said later he was nervous facing such a noted boxer as Nyika, and he definitely seemed more intent on surviving than taking the fight to the New Zealander.

Nyika, who won the light-heavyweight (81kg) gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, seems to be enjoying his move up to the heavyweight (91kg) division.

At a pre-Games conference, he spoke of how he was eating fairly much what he wanted, then looked along to his weight conscious team-mates and apologised. He is also now sporting yellow hair. Actually, according to him it’s gold, and he’s had it dyed for obvious reasons.

Nyika, who is still only 22, described Aska as a rugged fighter and said it was “the perfect start for a long tournament”.

His next opponent will be Christian Ndzie Tsoye of Cameroon.


Gold Coast 2018 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games David Nyika
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