Olympic bronze medallist Harry Garside wins Australian title in second pro fight

Olympic bronze medallist Harry Garside has underlined his professional credentials by dominating Manuer Matet over ten rounds to win the Australian lightweight title in just his second professional fight.

Garside showed off his supreme boxing talent with a wonderful exhibition of skill, clearly catching the eyes of the ringside judges, who scored the fight 98-2, 99-91, 98-92.

Many observers felt Garside won every round with an impeccable display of boxing skill to move to 2-0 in his fledgling professional career, yet the man himself was not thrilled with his performance.

“I’m always a massive critic,” he said.

“I’m going to go back to the gym, watch that fight back and there’s always room for improvement.”

Whether those comments were tongue-in-cheek or not, nobody watching would have failed to be impressed with Garside’s performance at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.

Harry Garside moves to 2-0 in his professional career.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Garside was clearly the better fighter from the opening exchanges of the first round, landing cleanly to both head and body throughout the fight, matching impeccable timing with some solid defensive manoeuvring thanks to his balletic footwork.

Garside’s movement was supreme, his impeccable amateur pedigree on full show as he slipped in and out of range, landing crisp shots at will as he danced around every inch of the ring.

Matet carried a four-centimetre reach advantage over Garside, but his increasingly wild swinging efforts only served to highlight the precision inherent in Garside’s work.

His accuracy and pace was impressive, but it was his elusiveness that served to make Matet appear totally outclassed.

Both men showed impeccable conditioning, with Garside in particular not even sitting down between rounds.

“I never sat down in sparring, never sat down in a fight,” Garside said by way of an explanation.

Matet, to his credit, never took a backward step, he came forward in every round, only to eat leather with increasing regularity.

Only in the ninth did Matet look like falling, a stunning left-right combination wobbling the Sudan-born fighter.

Harry Garside ducks under a punch from Manuer Matet
Harry Garside (left) was elusively brilliant throughout the contest.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Garside told Fox Sports before the fight that he wanted a “test”, and many pundits thought Matet would be able to provide that.

Jeff Fenech even warned that Matet, who came into the fight with a 4-1 record, his only defeat by split decision against Masing Warawara, would pose Garside “a lot of problems”.

It was not to be the case as Garside delivered an accomplished display that underlined the Victorian’s bright future.

“I just want to keep going bigger and bigger,” Garside said of his future plans.

“I want to keep trying to get the best out of myself, I’ve got another ten years in this sport and I want to try and be the best fighter I can be.”

On the undercard, Garside’s fellow 2020 Olympian Paulo Aokuso claimed victory by TKO on what was his professional debut at light heavyweight.

Aokuso floored his opponent, Michael van Nimwegen, three times, in the first, third and, finally, the fifth round, after which his corner threw in the towel.

“It was a good experience, a good debut,” he said.

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