Harry Garside hints at ‘interesting’ dual career path

HARRY Garside isn’t your typical fighter.

From the strong focus on mental health, to the unique training methods he’s adopted along the way, the Victorian has made a point to do things differently.

As the dust settles on his historic run and subsequent podium finish in Tokyo, the bronze medalist is recalibrating for his next sporting goal.

Although the timeline remains abstract, the 24-year-old admits an eventual dual run at professional and amateur glory could be on the cards, as revealed to Ben Damon.

“I honestly believe if I can do both, I’ll being doing both, for sure,” Garside told the Main Event Boxing Podcast.

“I’ll just regather myself. We’ve got to sit down with Boxing Australia and the Combat Institute and understand the rules. Because you don’t want to make the commitment to turn pro, and then you can’t ever come back.

“If that’s the case, I just want to know that’s the decision I’m making. I don’t want to do it, and then it gets taken away from me in two years time. I think I’ll try my best to do both if that’s viable.”

A mainstay in the national program, Garside has had little to do with the punch-for-pay code, aside from his close relationship with fast-rising cruiserweight prospect Jason Whateley.

Despite this, Garside understands the importance of setting himself up for long-term success, however that may look.

“The professional game is a completely different kettle of fish. It’s almost like a business,” he explained.

“I’ve never had too much to do with it. I’m not going to lie, I don’t fully understand the ins and outs of it. It will be interesting, and I know it’s a bit of a dog eat dog world out there.

“I’d love to do both, and I really want to try my best to bring world titles home to Australia, as well as gold medals. Our country deserves it, and so does the next generation of fighters.

“They deserve more opportunities, and we all work bloody hard in combat sports. I just hope that we can get a bit more limelight on the sport, and limelight on the next generation of fighters.”

The blueprint for Garside to follow may look similar to the path being tread by heavyweight sensation Justis Huni, who managed amateur and professional careers this year.

Managing dual pursuits could be a short-term priority, with the landscape likely to change following the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.

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“I’m not too sure, I’ll probably stick around for the Comm Games next year, and then make the decision post that,” Garside added.

“I’m 24 now, I don’t want to leave it too late. Obviously I do want to have a professional career, you’ve got to think about putting food on the table, and stuff like that.

“Boxing is all I know, I don’t have a degree, I don’t have a qualification, I don’t really have a stable job. I work for my brother as a plumber, I just do that so I can box. That’s what I’ve always done.”

Time is of the essence for Garside, as professional success and financial security often go hand-in-hand.

“You’ve got to think about your future,” he concluded.

“I don’t want to be 35 and like a washed-up old fighter and not have anything. I’ve got to think about my future.

“Whatever’s best for my future, I’ll do that, for sure.”

Photo: Getty Images

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