Harry Garside isn’t one to paper over the cracks.
He understands that he is no longer fighting in the amateurs.
“I think we could all see I looked a bit rushed,” Garside, the 24-year-old told reporters on Monday, of course referencing his maiden professional fight last December against Sachin Mudaliar.
“It was a massive occasion, of course, your pro debut, I looked a little bit rushed, I looked a bit unsettled; I wasn’t boxing that smart.”
They are exactly the words you would expect from Garside, whose fight against Manuer Matet in Sydney was confirmed for March 30 on Monday morning.
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After all, he is being mentored by the legendary Australian boxing trainer Johnny Lewis
“Me and Johnny have been tightening up a few more screws leading into this fight, and I’m going to make sure I’m boxing nice and smart and really looking like I’m world class,” he said.
“I don’t want to look rushed, I want to look nice and balanced and I’m going to be looking to make a real good impact on the 30th.”
After a controversial intervention from referee Kevin Hogan, his debut against Mudaliar was stopped less than three minutes into the opening round.
Although Garside was left frustrated by the early ending, the fight gave him a taste of what is needed and expected.
A Monday morning text message confirmed Garside’s next boxing bout.
It was just the news he wanted to start the week, with the young Aussie star, who ended Australia’s Olympics drought in boxing last year by bringing home a bronze medal, wanting to make another statement.
“I woke up this morning and, honestly, it feels like a flick has been switched in my head, it’s business now,” he said.
“This is my life.
“This is what I’ve dreamt of for a long time.
“These steps you’ve just got to keep stepping up, stepping up and stepping up and this is just part of the journey.”
Garside doesn’t dance around the fact he wants to be crowned an Australian champion either.
While some play the man, Garside isn’t one for sledges and just wants the “title around my chest”.
It is not the first time he had fought Matet, the Sudanese 24-year-old who lived in refugee camps around Eastern Africa before moving to Australia with an aunt aged 13.
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The duo fought one another during their amateur careers, and it is why Garside knows he can’t take the fight for granted.
“I’m 99 per cent sure I fought him in the amateurs back in 2018, so if I remember I had about 105 fights in the amateurs and I’m pretty sure I fought him,” he said.
“It was a good hard fight then and there’s no doubt it’ll be a good hard fight on the 30th.
“I’m excited, I’m preparing properly, I’m feeling good, I just know he’s going to come to fight, he’s an entertainer. He’s going to show up to the fight and so am I.
So what happens in the fight?
“I know he’ll come to fight in the first four or five rounds, I know he’ll come to fight, but I’ll be going in there and trying to box nice and smart and listening to my coach Johnny and, of course, Jayson Laing, so I’ll be listening to what they say and taking him into deep, dark waters and looking to finish him late in the fight.”
Wise words for a man just starting out.