Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Harry Garside’s move into professional boxing has taken another giant leap forward, with the Aussie taking down the dangerous Maneur Matet on Wednesday night in Sydney.
Garside (2-0), in just his second professional bout, was taking a serious risk against the dangerous Matet (4-2) in a bid for the Australian lightweight title.
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But the impressive young prospect’s speed and timing – combined with incredible conditioning, which saw him remain on his feet even between rounds – proved a problem for Matet, who lived in refugee camps before moving to Australia at 13.
Garside claimed victory via unanimous decision, 98-92 x2, 99-91.
Former world champion Barry Michael described it as a “masterclass” and referred to him as a “ghost”.
But far from being content with the win, Garside labeled the performance as “terrible”.
“I’m always a massive critic, mate, that was a terrible performance and I’m always looking to grow, always looking to be the best version of myself,” the ambitious boxer told Main Event’s Ben Damon moments after his victory.
“I’m going to go back to the gym, watch that fight again and there’s always room for improvement.”
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Matet was game from the opening bell, having his moments in an opening round that still went Garside’s way, with the Olympian’s agility a class above his opponents’.
“He’s moving beautifully Harry Garside,” Michael said on Fox Sports.
“He has impeccable timing. He got caught a few but the majority of the time he’s making Matet miss and then landing his own, and then he skips away. ”
Lead commentator Ben Damon added: “It’s mature boxing.”
In the final minute of the third round Garside began to land heavy blows all over Matet, causing him to lose his mouthguard, while he looked to tire somewhat in the fourth round chasing Garside all over the ring.
“How much more of this can Matet take?” Michael asked.
“He hasn’t got an answer for him (Garside). He’s in, he’s out, he’s sideways. Harry is boxing his ears off. ”
Garside’s general control continued through the later rounds with Matet attempting to get more aggressive until it backfired, as the tired underdog copped a vicious flurry late in the ninth round, seeing Garside strut back to his corner.
Born in Ferntree Gully, Garside’s first pro win came via a first-round TKO against Sachin Mudaliar last December.
On the undercard, one of three fighters under Jeff Fenech’s tutelage Tyler Blizzard made a strong professional debut by knocking down Daniel Harwood in both the first and second rounds.
Yet Harwood claimed the third round with a non-stop barrage of body shots, and seriously threatened to earn the stoppage he needed in the fourth and final round.
“I can’t believe his fitness,” Barry Michael said in a commentary for Fox Sports.
“That was impressive.”
Blizzard took the win on the cards after five years out of the ring.
In his TV debut Blake Wells did enough to get past Renold Quinlan, before Alex Lual took down Aaron Kay in the second round.
Big-hitting Hassan Hamdan, the son of Aussie former No.2 ranked fighter Nader, seemed on the brink of a knockout for several rounds but Ryan Cotten survived all five before losing via decision.
His trainer Jeff Fenech only gave Hamdan a “five out of 10” for his performance and his dad told him to get back in the gym.
Shanell Dargan and Ashleigh Sims then stole the show with a remarkable four-round sprint ending in a majority draw.
In the semi-main, Paulo Aokuso earned a knockdown less than a minute into his bout with Michael Van Nimwegen, before another late in the third round and a third that resulted in a fifth-round stoppage win.
FULL FIGHT CARD AND RESULTS
Harry Garside def Manuer Matet via unanimous decision [98-92 x2, 99-91] (Vacant Australian lightweight title, 10x3min rounds)
Paulo Aokuso def Michael Van Nimwegen via corner retirement, 2:10 into Round 5 (Vacant ANBF Australasian Light Heavyweight title, 8x3min rounds)
Shanell Dargan went to a majority draw with Ashleigh Sims [39-37 Dargan, 38-38 x2] (Super featherweight, 4x2min rounds)
Hassan Hamdan def Ryan Cotten via unanimous decision [50-45 x3] (Welterweight, 5×3 min rounds)
Alex Lual def Aaron Kay via KO, 2:13 into Round 2 (Super lightweight, 5x3min rounds)
Blake Wells def Renold Quinlan via unanimous decision [55-58, 56-57, 55-59] (Catchweight, 6x3min rounds)
Tyler Blizzard def Daniel Harwood via unanimous decision [36-38 x2, 37-38] (Super bantamweight, 4x3min rounds)
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