Harry Garside’s professional boxing debut ended with his hand raised but it certainly did not go as expected.
The Australian’s debut lasted just three minutes, with the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist given a contentious TKO win over Sachin Mudaliar in the opening round.
Garside had the early advantage as he forced the Fijian up against the ropes, throwing a barrage of punches Mudaliar’s way.
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The Fijian did not appear severely hurt by the onslaught though but that did not stop referee Kevin Hogan from calling a premature end to the bout.
Mudaliar certainly did not agree with the call, visibly frustrated and desperately trying to show he was ready to continue.
“If you throw punches back, you don’t stop,” referee Hogan said, explaining his decision.
“You can’t lay against the ropes and not throw punches.”
Boxing legend Jeff Fenech though could not comprehend the decision.
“Terrible,” he said.
“These referees, we need to sit down and talk to them and look at it. Of course he wasn’t throwing punches back, but there wasn’t one part of this where he shows that he was hurt … He was not hurt at all.”
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Australian UFC champion Alex Volkanovski was even left perplexed by the call.
“Obviously Mudaliar wasn’t doing much but at the time he decides to throw back, the ref steps in, which I thought was pretty odd,” he told Main Event.
“If he stopped it when he was throwing the combos, like: ‘You’re not fighting back, I’m going to stop it’ but you wait until he fires back.”
Paul Kent, meanwhile, added that the Fijian did not seem to hurt by the flurry.
“That decision just stinks,” he said.
“It was such a poor call. Even though he was taking a lot of punches, he wasn’t hurt and there weren’t a lot of clean punches.
“He was not stunned by any of it. It was a great volume of punches but he was not hurt. He was basically riding out the fury of Garside until he got the opportunity to bounce out of it.”
As for Garside’s performance, Fenech was impressed by what he saw.
“This kid’s so good,” he said.
“What he’s done today he tried too much to impress us. He’s got to get back to that skill level and then just pick his punches,instead of trying to throw 100 of them.
“This kid’s very talented. He’s got the world at his feet.”
Garside revealed post-fight that he had actually been carrying an injury suffered in sparring.
“It’s no secret, one of my hands was screwed to be honest,” he said.
“I stuffed it in my second last spar and I’ve just been managing it.”