Coming off the back of a historic Olympic campaign, the Gold Coast 2018 gold medallist has turned professional but hopes his journey inspires the next generation of boxers.
Georgia Griffith for Commonwealth Games Australia
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Harry Garside has embarked on a professional boxing career but hopes his own journey in the sport inspires the next generation of young Australian boxers to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond
“Personally, what I loved about the Commonwealth Games it was the moment where I truly believed that I could do something at massive international tournaments like the Olympics or world championships,” Garside said as part of Commonwealth Games Australia’s ‘300 Days to GoShow’.
“I was only 20 at the time [at the Gold Coast Games] and you’re so young, naive and brazen, I was just sort of like running into that head on and taking up anything and everything.
“I was so starstruck in the village with some of the people on the team, Mark Knowles, a lot of the swimmers and stuff like that, athletics as well.”
The lightweight used his experiences of winning at the Gold Coast Games to propel his medal winning Tokyo Olympics campaign.
In Tokyo Garside took home a historic bronze medal, breaking a 33-year long drought for Australian boxers.
Garside acknowledged that he hopes that his performances on the Gold Coast and in Tokyo have inspired some younger boxers to take up the challenge.
“Every boxer will have to earn their spot,” Garside said.
“[That is boxing] there is constantly someone younger coming through who is “more enthusiastic, more motivated, hungrier”.
Harry won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty Images)
It’s the same mentality that Garside will use to spur him on in his professional career and in his own training, noting that this is what helps him improve.
Garside has carved out an atypical path in the boxing arena, where he has inverted stereotypes that often link toxic masculinity with combat sports.
Garside uses ballet to aid his training , and while he admits that he is “pretty bad at the moment” he hopes he’ll one day be able to do a performance in his hometown of Lilydale.
“I love performance arts and ballet and I paint my nails. I don’t listen to stereotypical ‘male’ music. I just try to showcase that … as long as it feels right for you, there’s no need to explain it to anyone.” said Garside.
Through embracing his authentic and quirky self, Garside has garnered quite the following from the Australian public.
While his notoriety outside the ring continues to grow, when he steps through the ropes, Garside has improved mightily from the boxer who lost 10 of his first 18 bouts.
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Rather than letting those initial setbacks define him, Garside has embraced the underdog mentality and provides the motivation to continually improve his technique.
“I think boxing wise, I’ll try and improve naturally… focus a lot more on my technique, slowing things down,” Garside said.
“I feel like for me, COVID was a massive blessing in disguise.
“Often we’re focusing on tournament’s, going bull at a gate at everything I do. And I think you don’t often slow down and actually focus on technique and all the things that you did when you were younger.
“I think last year was just a great opportunity for me to really slow things down and I think I’ve learned a lot from that. Training smarter, not harder… that’s probably something that I’ll take into next year for sure.”
Garside will have many fans cheering him on in his professional bouts, while his journey will inspire those young boxers who are hoping to emulate his successes when they step through the ropes at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham Games will host the largest ever integrated Para-sport program, as well as a record number of mixed events.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022.
To be in the stands in Birmingham supporting the next generation of Australian boxers and the rest of the Australian team, for the first time Australian families and fans will be able to access group tickets for all events at the Commonwealth Games.
The Family & Fans Tour ensures Australian families and fans can sit and cheer together, stay together and play together at the Birmingham Games.
Tour packages are available for all sports; however, numbers are limited.
Bookings are now open, learn more about the Family & Fans Tour below.
BIRMINGHAM 2022 FAMILY & FANS TOUR
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is coming – and you could be there to witness history in the making.LEARN MORE