Aussie boxing star Harry Garside pinpoints the day that changed his outlook on life forever and turned him into a fighter unlike any other the country has ever produced
- Melbourne raised boxer Harry Garside, 25, marches to the beat of his own drum
- Has raised eyebrows after wearing dresses, wore nail polish at Tokyo Olympics
- Currently sidelined with a hand injury, hopes to return to ring by next February
Aussie rising star Harry Garside has revealed the life-changing moment that gave him the inspiration to break just about every stereotype surrounding how a boxer should act.
The 25-year-old – who snared a bronze medal in the lightweight division at the Tokyo Olympics – is currently sidelined with a hand injury, but instead of sitting on the couch, he’s training for a half marathon.
A slick counter-puncher who has made a huge impression on experts since turning pro this year, Garside is well known for his fondness for wearing nail polish and dresses as part of his determination to be himself no matter what people say about him.
Harry Garside (pictured left) starting boxing at the age of nine and now has seven national titles to his name
He also dares to be different, often wearing dresses and skirts as Garside lives life how he wants
He admits he was ‘acting like a bit of a jock’ while growing up in working-class Lilydale in Melbourne’s outer north-east when his outlook on life changed in an instant thanks to a school visit from the Reach Foundation, which runs personal development workshops for young people.
‘These people show up to school and they’re wearing the most unique, strange clothes, they’re acting really funny, they’ve got the weirdest haircuts and they’re just walking in their essence,’ he recalled.
‘They ran us through a workshop that day … that’s probably the first inspiration from it and from then it has just grown and blossomed and turned into this weird beast that is here now.
As of last year, Garside had seven Australian national boxing championships to his name.
It was a far cry from the early days at the Lilydale Youth Club, where he was often outclassed by rivals his age.
But perseverance saw Garside eventually hold his own when donning gloves.
Garside also had a message for young people – always be yourself (pictured, at The Iconic ‘Runway X’ Show earlier this week)
He has a huge fan in Australian boxing legend Johnny Lewis, who declared Garside was the ‘real deal’ following most recent victory in May.
‘Discipline and the want are two things that come to the forefront with Harry, and fitness. He reeks of those,’ he said.
‘He gives himself every conceivable chance to win. He’s a wonderful kid to train. He’s the real deal.’
Garside’s drive to succeed can also be traced back to his parents.
His father was a roof tiler, and was often out the door before the athlete and his siblings woke up.
‘I’d get home from training about 6:30 most nights and he’d just be getting home,’ he told news.com.au. ‘I saw that and I saw the meaning of hard work.’
The qualified plumber has also been shortlisted for the 2022 GQ Men of the Year Awards alongside the likes of Australian cricket captain Pat Cummings and MMA star Tai Tuivasa.
Whether Garside rocks up in a suit and tie – or a dress – is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for certain: Harry will do it his way.