Australian boxer Harry Garside has confirmed he will fight for his professional title when he takes on Manuer Matet in Sydney on March 30.
The young Aussie will go head-to-head with Matet at the Hordern Pavilion as they battle for the Australian lightweight title.
The 24-year-old plumber from regional Victoria won the hearts of the nation when he claimed a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year in the lightweight category after being defeated by champion Cuban boxer Andy Cruz.
Garside, now coached by boxing legend Johnny Lewis, won his professional debut fight in December last year with a TKO victory against Fijian Sachin Mudaliar on the Paul Gallen vs Darcy Lussick undercard.
The 24-year-old Matet is originally from Sudan and lived in refugee camps around Eastern Africa before he moved to Australia with his aunty at age 13.
Garside is expecting a tough fight with the pair having fought back in the amateur days.
“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,” Garside said.
“It was a good hard fight then and there’s no doubt it’ll be a good hard fight on the 30th.”
Australian boxing fans are excited to see Garside in action and the boxing star said he has been preparing well for his title fight.
“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.”
Garside is inspired by the recent success of Australian boxer George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr. who ‘shocked the boxing world’ by winning a split decision over US boxing star Teofimo Lopez in his hometown of New York at Madison Square Garden last November. Kambosos claimed the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight titles with the victory.
The win stunned the boxing world and was later named ‘ESPN’s Upset of the Year’. Lopez was regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and no one gave Kambosos any chance of winning.
“Kambosos set the bar of what’s possible for an Australian fighter and for us younger fighters we have to now lift that bar and that’s the aim,” Garside said.
“I felt personally the culture in Australia growing up was we see all these overseas athletes and countries and you think they are this and that, and they deserve their respect for sure, but we’re no different to them. Kambosos just showed that.”
With Kambosos set to defend his title against a big name opponent, Tim Tszyu on the verge of a big fight in the US and Garside coming up through the ranks, the future of Australian boxing looks bright.