Nyika, Light to fight for Glasgow boxing gold

02:40, Aug 02 2014
Liam Stone, Fengyang Li
Liam Stone and Li Feng Yang compete in the men's synchronised diving 3m springboard final, finishing sixth.
Liam Stone, Fengyang Li
Liam Stone and Li Feng Yang compete in the men's synchronised diving 3m springboard final, finishing sixth.
Liam Stone, Fengyang Li
Li Feng Yang and Liam Stone compete in the men's synchronised diving 3m springboard final, finishing sixth.
Karen Li
Karen Li serves during New Zealand's women's doubles quarterfinal loss to Singapore.
Karen Li
Karen Li in action during a women's doubles table tennis quarterfinal.
Li Chunli, Karen Li
Li Chunli serves as team-mate Karen Li waits during women's double quarterfinal play.
Li Chunli
Li Chunli reacts during New Zealand's women's doubles match against Singapore.
Lily Owsley
England's Lily Owsley celebrates her first half goal against New Zealand.
Petrea Webster
New Zealand's Petrea Webster attempts to make her way between England's Susannah Townsend and Lucy Wood.
Black Sticks
Under the gaze of a TV camera, the Black Sticks huddle before their semifinal against England.
David Nyika
Hamilton's David Nyika lands a blow on the nose of semifinal opponent Sean McGlinchy of Northern Ireland.
David Nyika
After copping some first round shots, Kiwi David Nyika dominated to reach the men's light heavy gold medal bout.
Martin Knight
New Zealand's Martin Knight leaps for an overhead shot during the mixed doubles quarterfinal victory with Joelle King.
Paul Coll
Kiwi Paul Coll in action, with partner Lance Beddoes, during a squash men's doubles quarterfinal defeat to England.
Michelle Chan
New Zealand's Michelle Chan stretches for a backhand shot in her women's singles quarterfinal loss to Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour.
Anna Rankin
Kiwi Anna Rankin prepares to serve to India's PV Sindhu in their women's singles quarterfinal.
Katie Glynn
Katie Glynn is dispossessed and taken out by England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch during the shootout.
Mark Hager
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager watches in the final minutes, as Kayla Whitelock and Petrea Webster sit in the sin-bin.
Black Sticks
Dejected Black Sticks players walk from the turf as England huddle in celebration.
Sally Rutherford
NZ goalkeeper Sally Rutherford cannot stop the shootout attempt from England's Georgie Twigg.
Charlotte Sullivan
New Zealand's Charlotte Sullivan competes in the women's floor final.
Charlotte Sullivan
Charlotte Sullivan of New Zealand in action during her routine in the women's floor final.
Angie Smit
Kiwi runners Angie Smit, left, and Nikki Hamblin compete in the women's 800m final.
Jake Robertson
Jake Robertson was on track in the final of the men's 1000m before running out of steam late in the race.
Nikki Hamblin
Kiwi runner Nikki Hamblin collapses after competing in the women's 800m final in Glasgow.
Jake Robertson
Jake Robertson competes in the final of the men's 1000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Nick Willis
Champion Kiwi runner Nick Willis on his way to qualifying for the men's 1500m final.
Julian Matthews
Relatively unknown Kiwi runner Julian Matthews on his way to qualifying for the men's 1500m final.
Siositina Hakeai
Auckland discus thrower Siositina Hakeai finished fourth in the women's discus final.
Sarah Cowley
Sarah Cowley clears the bar during the women's high jump final at Hampden Park.
David Light
Kiwi heavyweight David Light raises his arms in triumph after booking his place in the boxing final.
David Light
David Light on his way to booking a place in the heavyweight boxing final in Glasgow.
Joelle King
Kiwi squash players Joelle King and Martin Knight during their come-from-behind win over the Indian pairing of Pal Harinder Sandhu and Joshana Chinappa.

David Light is confident he can win gold, but isn't sure he should even be in the Commonwealth Games heavyweight boxing final. 

The 22-year-old Aucklander breathed a huge sigh of relief when his arm was raised in his semifinal win over local hope Stephen Lavelle this morning and now he and Hamilton teenager David Nyika will  fight for gold medals. 

Their gold medal bouts are first thing tomorrow morning (NZT).

David Nyika
SHOT AT GOLD: After copping some first round shots, Kiwi David Nyika (in blue) dominated to reach the men's light heavy gold medal bout.

"I thought he had it," Light said of the semifinal win over Lavelle.  

"My corner did too and they just said, 'no matter what happens, we're proud of you'. I was just gutted."

Light had lost the first round, but changed his plan in the second. He looked far more aggressive and landed more punches.


David Light
SHINING LIGHT: Kiwi boxer David Light will fight for a gold medal after progressing through to Sunday morning's final in Glasgow.

"I thought I got some okay shots in and thought I might have nicked the second round but I wasn't sure."

He'd won it all right then did the same in the third to seal the come-from-behind victory.

Should either Nyika or Light win, their's would be New Zealand's first Commonwealth boxing gold since Michael Kenny won the super heavyweight division at home in Auckland in 1990.

Light paid his own way to international trial meets and to prove himself while Nyika had to win the North Island Golden Gloves two months ago to secure his late ticket to Glasgow.

Because of that, Light was just rapt to have won a fight in Glasgow, but now he has the chance at a gold, he's tweaked those goals. 

"My goal was just to get a bronze so I could go away with something. Now I'm in the final I really want the gold," he said.

Light will take on Samir El-Mais for the gold medal after the Canadian beat Nigeria's Efetobor Apochi in a unanimous decision while Nyika will take on Mauritius' Kennedy St Pierre in the light heavyweight finale. 

Nyika wore Northern Irishman Sean McGlinchy down like a pro overnight, using his reach advantage to land vital scoring blows and his incredible speed and agility to duck and weave his way out of any potential trouble.

As McGlinchy started to drop his hands, Nyika pounced and the second and third rounds weren't even close.

"I was really happy with the performance," Nyika said.

"Maybe a tiny bit lazy (in round one) ... but I was confident I was going to be able to break him down. Second round I really got down to work, started working the body a bit and he was starting to tire, which makes it that much easier to get on the inside."

Nyika said St Pierre was a "big, strong guy" and he couldn't afford to take any risks in the final.

He has received a plethora of support from back home from people who "want to get behind me and follow my dream to be the best", which was spurring him on.

"It's a dream come true, but like I've said I'm here for gold and I can't settle for anything less."