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David Nyika fought on the Matchroom Boxing card headlined by Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora last December. Photo / Photosport
Last December, David Nyika made a damaging statement in introducing himself to the UK market as he looked to launch into his professional boxing career.
The bout was his second in the pro game, and
he again needed only one round to get the job done.
But with a 2-0 record in 2021, the 26-year-old hasn’t been sighted in the ring since – and it’s something that has British promoter Eddie Hearn baffled.
Nyika fought on Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing card headlined by the rematch between Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora last December, with his French opponent Anthony Carpin retiring on the stool after the first round.
It was an impressive display from the Kiwi cruiserweight, but despite relocating to the UK to spend his time working with Andy Lee and Tyson Fury’s camp in Morecambe, the 26-year-old is yet to have another fight booked.
Speaking from New York ahead of the undisputed lightweight title fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, Hearn questioned the strategy being applied in the early stages of Nyika’s professional career.
“I think David Nyika is a great talent. He’s a great fighter, obviously a good athlete, and a good-looking kid. I don’t really understand what they’re doing with him,” Hearn said.
“We’ve not really been approached about Nyika since that fight.
“He boxed on that card in December and hasn’t boxed since. It was only a round, and we’re in May next week. So, I don’t know who’s running his management, but it seems like a waste of time because you’re burning a talent. You’re wasting a talent; that kid should be boxing six to eight times a year.”
Hearn likened Nyika’s situation to that of 26-year-old Australian featherweight Skye Nicholson, who made her professional debut in March – taking her talents to the professional stage after an amateur decorated career that saw her claim Commonwealth Games gold in 2018 and reach the quarter -finals at the Tokyo Olympics before dropping a controversial decision.
“He’s training hard. He’s moved himself over to the UK – all these fighters are making an incredible sacrifice, but look at Skye [Nicholson], she’s had three fights in 10 weeks. They need to get Nyika active.”
This weekend, Nicholson – who is signed with Matchroom – will have her third professional bout on the undercard of the bout between Taylor and Serrano at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, and told ESPN last month that she was aiming to get six fights under her belt this year.
Speaking to the Herald last week, Nyika said he was making sure not to rush into any sort of deal without due consideration as he was still young and at the beginning of his professional career.
“It’s a matter of making sure the next 10 years are smooth sailing,” he said. “I really need it to work for me. I don’t want to make brash decisions and send myself down a path I’m not 100 per cent sure about.
“I really want to get busy, but I have also heard all the horror stories about fighters that have their careers taken away from them by signing bad deals. I respect my ability and I know what I’m worth, so I’m not going to settle for any less.”
However, while he was planning to go for gold at a third straight Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later this year, he said he was hopeful of getting at least one more professional bout in advance of that date.
“We have still got dates in mind, but we’re trying to sign them up and get the bout agreements in. Until you’ve signed a contract, it’s not really my place to start screaming and shouting about the fights that I might have .
“There is a lot more to come before the Comm Games, and I think it will all happen pretty quickly, but it’s just a matter of tightening those details up.”