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David Nyika To Face Kiwi-crushing Aussie Blake Caparello In Mammoth Trans-Tasman Clash

David Nyika will have to do what no Kiwi boxer has done before and defeat the world class Australian, Blake Caparello, if he is to fulfil his promise and continue his impressive run to a cruiserweight world title.

Having signed a multi-fight deal with global powerhouse DAZN in collaboration with Duco Events, Parker Promotions and Thornberry Promotions, Nyika (9-0, 8KO) will face former WBO world title contender Caparello (32-4-1) in Auckland on September 14. This will prove the first significant test of the Olympic medallist’s credentials.

The classy Caparello’s resume reveals an impeccable record against Kiwi opponents – with Robert Berridge, Daniel MacKinnon, Reece Papuni, Lance Bryant and Jordan Tai all having been dispatched by the Australian.

“David will have to prove that he is a cut above those that have gone down this path before,” Nyika’s promoter David Higgins said. 

“Boxing aficionados had huge wraps on guys like Robbie ‘The Butcher’ Berridge, Dan MacKinnon and Reece Papanui and those guys ended up being totally outclassed.

“Caparello took on one of the most feared fighters of a generation in Sergey Kovalev and sat him on his backside in the opening round. Three months later Kovalev was in the ring with Bernard Hopkins - and not long after that went 11 rounds with Canelo Alvarez.”

While impressed with his opponent’s credentials, Nyika isn’t fazed by the challenge. 

“No disrespect to any of those Kiwi boys who took on Caparello and got beaten,” Nyika said. “They are all great fighters in their own right – but none of them are me. To me, Blake Caparello is just another step on the road to a world title.”

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Caparello is not buying into the hype around the Kiwi medallist, "Nyika is untested as a professional, he hasn't gone passed 5 rounds yet. I've been 10 and 12 rounds more than a dozen times against the world's best. I've headlined shows on ESPN and HBO in America. Let's see what he's got when the going gets tough," Caparello said. 

Nyika’s co-promoter Joseph Parker said the fight reminded of him when he took on former heavyweight contender Frans Botha in just his sixth fight.

“People were like ‘this guy has been in the ring with Tyson and Holyfield – Baby Joseph is going to get destroyed! But if you’re good enough and experienced enough – and David Nyika is most definitely good enough, to take on Blake Caparello.”

Already ranked 14th by the IBF, Nyika will find himself knocking on the door of the top 10 with a victory.

In terms of independent rankings, Caparello has the edge on Nyika, with Boxrec rating the Aussie number 35 in the cruiserweight division – three rungs ahead of Nyika (38).

This bout is Nyika’s first time headlining a major boxing pay-per-view card – and the first of four annual headline fights for the Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

The Kiwi star’s homecoming party follows an impressive KO win over undefeated German, Michael Seitz, on the undercard of the massive Tyson Fury v Oleksander Usyk showdown in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in May.

The undercard is set to feature some Hollywood glamour thanks to the presence of Ricaia Warren, a five-time national amateur champion from Rotorua whose transition to the pro ranks is being backed by actor Cliff Curtis.

The pair have a strong bond that dates back over a decade, including collaborating on community focussed initiatives such as supporting the Love Soup food recovery programme.

“Ricaia Warren is the son of Tanya and Aaron Warren who own and run our local Rotovegas Boxing Gym in Rotorua”, said Curtis.

“The Warren Family are responsible for supporting many community programs through their gym. And I am proud to be able to support Ricaia and his family. Ricaia is hard working and diligent. I have followed his progress and I am backing his discipline as a fighter and commitment to his craft as a pugilist.”

Warren (2-0) will be joined on the undercard by fellow undefeated prospects Alex Leapai Jr (1-0) – the son of former heavyweight legend Alex Leapai Snr – as well as Commonwealth Games super heavyweight bronze medallist Uila Mau’u (6-0).

Interest in corporate tables for the first true black tie boxing event in Auckland since Parker took on Junior Fa at Spark Arena in 2021 suggested demand for tickets would well and truly outstrip supply, Higgins said.

“The wait list is already longer than the number of tables we’ll be able to fit in the arena,” Higgins said.

“David Nyika’s already a household name due to his exploits at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. He’s a huge talent – so it’s no surprise at all that his first major fight back home in New Zealand is already attracting massive interest.”

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