Sykes China bound as he hunts Rio spot

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

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OLYMPIC HOPEFUL: Tyson Sykes will board a plane for China next month to chase his Olympic dream. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
OLYMPIC HOPEFUL: Tyson Sykes will board a plane for China next month to chase his Olympic dream. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Rotorua boxer Tyson Sykes has been selected in the New Zealand boxing team heading to China to try and qualify for the Rio Olympics.

The light heavyweight (under 81kg) knocked out his opponent in the third round of his latest fight in Auckland earlier this month, which was a qualification bout to represent New Zealand.

Even with the top performance there was no promises he would be named in the national team heading to the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifiers in China from March 23 to April 3. Sykes, 26, received the good news this week he'd made the cut and will be heading to Asia to fight.

Sykes has to finish in the top three in his weight division to qualify for the Olympics.

Boxing New Zealand high performance convenor Rick Ellis said Sykes will be up against some stiff competition in the light heavyweight class, with roughly 16-18 top fighters expected to line-up in that division.

Ellis said the New Zealand team heading to China included about 10 fighters, at present, including a mix of men and women. Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Nyika (Hamilton) is among those fighters and will be looking to qualify as a heavyweight.

Sykes still needs to raise the funds needed to get to China on his own, with no funding being given to help. He is setting up a Givealittle page online which will go live from Monday if you would like to support him.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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