Every fight's a final for David Nyika at Glasgow
A packed suitcase left on David Nyika's doorstep has handed the Hamilton boxer plenty of motivation as he prepares to leave for Glasgow.
The 18-year-old received his New Zealand Commonwealth Games uniform on Tuesday, and couldn't hide his excitement at how close those Games are.
He leaves tomorrow for a two-week camp with the New Zealand boxing squad in Belfast, Ireland, putting in the final preparations before the Games.
It comes after a three-day camp last weekend, where the boxers met for the first time, and spent time training with national coach Phil Shatford.
"I felt really good going into that environment," Nyika said.
"Just sparring and training alongside the other fighters, I think my skill and conditioning stacked up really well compared with them.
"I've been ramping up the training a bit the past few weeks, and I'm feeling really good heading into Glasgow. I'm focusing on being the best I can be."
Nyika still has no idea who he will be fighting in his opening bout at the Commonwealth Games, with the draw made at the last minute.
He said the event isn't ranked, and means any fight could be a final.
One of the top boxers attending the Games is Irish boxer Joseph Ward, who recently beat the Russian fighter Nyika lost to in building up to Glasgow.
"So now I want to complete the triangle, if you like," Nyika said.
"I know he will be a really tough fight if we come up against each other. I couldn't beat that Russian, but he did.
"That was my first step up to the elite grade so it doesn't concern me too much.
"I've improved a lot since then. If I fight as well as I can that's all I can ask, and hopefully it's enough."
He said sometimes the best boxers don't make the final at the Commonwealth Games because of the luck of the draw.
Either way, he'll prepare for each fight as if it is a final, and hopes that bodes well for a deep run in the boxing tournament.
"I'm feeling good. I woke up [Thursday] morning and my face was a little bloated, I don't think I've avoided illness, but it's not too bad. It happens in preparing for a tournament like this.
"We're going over to their summer, so it will be a breath of fresh air. I can't wait."
- Waikato Times