NZ fans spur Nyika to boxing gold

8:13 pm on 14 April 2018

Boxer David Nyika was spurred to Commonwealth gold by the sound of a te reo song drowning out the Australian fan contingent.

New Zealand's David Nyika after defeating Australia's Jason Whateley in the Men's Heavy 91kg boxing final at Oxenford Studios. 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Saturday 14 April 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga /

Photo: Photosport NZ

Nyika won his 91kg division gold medal bout over Australia's Jason Whateley, in a unanimous points decision at the Gold Coast Games.

His victory makes it back-to-back Commonwealth golds, after he won fighting down a weight division at the Glasgow Games in 2014.

"Gold on gold - it looks good huh?" he said.

"It's history, man, it's history and I'm glad to be a part of that."

Nyika was fighting in front of Whateley's home crowd, but a large contingent of New Zealand supporters was able to drown out the Australian's supporters, repeatedly singing 'Tutiri Mai Nga Iwi'.

"That was the plan... They had a little bit of practice," Nyika said.

"It's just great to have a chant, to have something to back me up... It's a lot better than 'Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.'"

The chanting and singing helped him to build his intensity throughout the fight, as the New Zealand supporters got louder.

"I've fought Jason four times now and I knew he was going to bring something a little bit different but I thought if I could drown the crowd out I'd slow him up a little bit," Nyika said.

"I just built throughout the fight as our Kiwis got louder."

New Zealand's David Nyika (R) punches Australia's Jason Whateley during their men's 91kg final boxing match during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Oxenford Studios venue on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

David Nyika lands a punch on Australia's Jason Whateley Photo: AFP

Winning another Commonwealth gold felt "incredible", he said.

"I expected to be here but ... to get here wasn't easy and it never will be - boxing's a tough sport."

Nyika split from his coach last year and said the build-up to the Games had been hard.

"I've been exhausted over the last year or so... I'm knackered - physically, emotionally and mentally."

He had not thought about what the next few months would hold but hinted at a future professional career.

"Joseph [Parker] has done amazing things for boxing in New Zealand and I'd like to follow down his path one day - I'm not sure how near in the future that'll be."

New Zealand boxing was in a good place at the moment, Nyika said.

"We're becoming more and more aligned with High Performance Sport New Zealand and that's doing wonders for our boxers."