Kiwi medallist takes shadow swing at pro boxing

MATT RICHENS IN GLASGOW
Last updated 11:13 03/08/2014
David Light
Getty Images

TAKING A SWIPE: After losing to Canada's Samir El-Mais (r) in the gold medal bout, David Light (l) said going pro in boxing was selling-out.

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New Zealand's latest silver medallist, boxer David Light, might not want to turn professional, but there are probably a few pros keen to get in the ring with him right now.

The 22-year-old, who this morning lost the Commonwealth Games men's heavyweight gold medal bout to Canada's Samir El-Mais came out swinging even after the final bell.

His target - professional boxing.

When asked about his future, Light said it was up in the air and when quizzed about the possibility of joining the professional ranks, he delivered a swift jab.

"Us boys in the New Zealand team, we always joke that when you go pro is really when you give up on actual boxing."

It was followed by an uppercut or maybe a low blow.

"You're cashing in on your talents and you're fighting bums and you're publicising it and everyone says you're the man because you knocked out this sickness beneficiary from South Auckland."

Light was referring to the highly-publicised 2011 bout between former All Black, Kiwis league player and part-time professional boxer Sonny Bill Williams and 43-year-old Alipate Liava'a.

Light said his Commonwealth Games bid had been priority No 1 for so long that he hadn't allowed himself to think about what life and boxing had in store post-Glasgow.

He wasn't even sure if boxing would play a part in his future.

"I'm just not sure," he said.

"I've purposely stopped myself from thinking beyond this."

Light, a student, and a clever one at that, said he'd seen and heard of too many boxers suffering from staying in the sport for too long and getting brain injuries to risk that, but did not rule out a shot at Rio in 2016.

Light lost his bout today on a split decision. He, New Zealand coach Phil Shatford and Boxing New Zealand boss Dr John McKay all thought Light had done enough to win, but conceded the fight was tight and could have gone either way.

"I left it up to Phil to decide and he reckons I was ahead. And if one of the judges saw it that way then I can't have been to far away," Light said.

"I wasn't here to prove anything to anyone but myself and I thought, while I'm doing it I might as well enjoy it. I've loved this and that's why I can lose and be happy. You can't win 'em all."

Earlier in the night, Hamilton 18-year-old David Nyika won New Zealand's 14th Glasgow gold, boxing's first medal in 12 years and first gold in 24 when he beat Mauritius' Kennedy St Pierre.

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