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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

Commonwealth Games boxing champ claims he was bitten in opening fight

Elsewhere, Ballymena’s Stephen Donnelly got his Games off to a winning start in the middleweight division.

Nyika (red):
Nyika (red): "When they don't want to win, they want to survive."
Image: Jason O'Brien

NEW ZEALAND’S DAVID Nyika alleged that his opponent bit him twice in an “ugly” fight as he launched his bid for a second Commonwealth Games boxing gold on Friday.

The 22-year-old heavyweight defeated Yakita Aska of Antigua and Barbuda 5-0 on Australia’s Gold Coast, but said the 91kg bout was far tougher than the scores suggested.

“It’s probably the closest fight I’ve had. A little bit rugged, but a perfect start to a long tournament,” said Nyika, who won 81kg gold at Glasgow 2014 as a teenager.

“When they don’t want to win, they want to survive, it’s tough. I copped a couple of bite marks, a couple of low blows.

“It’s a tough fight. He bit me in the end, but that’s the sport we’re in.

“Fair play to him: it’s kill or be killed.”

There was no immediate response from Aska to the allegation, but the 28-year-old said: “He is one of the best. He won gold at the last Commonwealth Games so it was a bad draw for me.

“He is a very strong kid.”

Elsewhere, Ballymena’s Stephen Donnelly got his Games off to a winning start as he booked his place in the last 16 of the 75kg middleweight division.

Donnelly, who fought for Ireland at the Rio Olympics, beat Kyran Jones of Wales 4-1.

He now faces Gibrilla Kamara of Sierra Leone on Sunday.

© – AFP, 2018; additional reporting by Niall Kelly

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