Young hopefuls taking their chances
Two young Waikato boxers are ready to make their presence felt on the international stage should they qualify this weekend for the most prestigious youth boxing competition.
David "Dangerous Dave" Nyika, 16, and Haimen "Beast from the Middle East" Perwaisy, 17, both hold current No1 national rankings in their respective weight classes after the Golden Gloves competition last month saw the teens beat out the competition.
If they maintain the top rankings at a qualifying tournament this weekend, the two will make the New Zealand youth team to go to Thailand for the World Youth Boxing Championships in October and the Oceania Champs in Tahiti also scheduled for later this year.
Nyika stands at 6ft 2in (1.88m) and weighs 69kg to fight as a welterweight while Perwaisy is 5ft 6 in (1.68m), 60kg and competes as a lightweight.
Both boys train at Ringside Boxing Gym in Frankton under the tutelage of Ringside co-owner Rick Ellis and Eske Dost, a former amateur boxer who has more than 50 fights under her belt.
Ellis said he was quietly confident Nyika and Haimen would qualify at the weekend.
"They are both ready and they are both extremely talented boys. They have really good skills, they're really well conditioned and they're both mentally prepared.
"They've done the preparation already but the bell will go and, of course, they will have to do their job," he said.
Nyika has already made the trip before; he competed at last year's champs in Kazahkstan in the 64kg division where he narrowly lost out to the Russian world titleholder in a points decision.
"I've definitely stepped up from last year," Nyika said.
"This one is definitely the biggest because I've stepped up in age and weight and in experience."
For Perwaisy, making the cut at the weekend and going to Thailand would be his first time representing New Zealand overseas.
"It's exciting," he said.
"I just want to get some experience and it would be a good experience."
Both fighters have dreams of a 2016 Rio Olympics campaign followed by professional careers and they regard the World Youth Champs as a stepping stone to make that future a reality.
The pair have been training for a over two months completing multiple sparring sessions through the week as well running, pad work and conditioning trainings.
"This is like our job, this is what we want to get paid for so that's what we've got to do," Perwaisy said.
The training has paid off, the wins at Golden Gloves have given them the confidence boost needed to perform this weekend.
"It's a good vibe when you win a fight, the motivation is up and your confidence is up and you can get stuck into the next one," Nyika said.
"But there's always a bigger fight, the next one is always the biggest one, that's what you've got to get your head around."