New Zealand heavyweight boxer David Nyika hard to work overtime today to book his place in the final of the 91kg division.
Nyika struck a powerful, hard-charging Englishman in Cheavon Clarke and had to be at his best to head him off.
The 22-year-old New Zealander, a gold medallist four years ago in Glasgow, won a unanimous decision today, but only by one point on four of the five judges’ scorecards.
He lost the first round, but as he found his range with his left jab, he came back well and shaded Clarke in the second and third rounds.
Nyika now fights Australian Jason Whateley tomorrow for the gold medal.
“It went exactly according to plan,” Nyika said afterwards. “I felt like I was building into the fifth. I want to keep my distance, or if I got in close, smother him and spoil his punches.
“I think I got a few shots through on the inside in the first couple of rounds.”
Nyika said Clarke brought the best out in him. “He’s ranked about No 5 in the world and is a great boxer. I like guys who come in – it lets me work off my shots.”
Clarke was always dangerous and was ever on the lookout to land a big right, but Nyika was admirably elusive.
The New Zealander said he was looking forward to the final.
“I like fighting in people’s back yards. He’s a good fighter and his style is always evolving, but I’m 3 and 0 against him so far.”Gold Coast 2018 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games David Nyika Boxing