At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Harry Garside made history and became the pride of the nation after winning bronze in the men’s lightweight event – marking the first time in more than three decades that an Australian medaled in boxing at the Olympics.
What makes Harry Garside such an interesting figure, however, is his stand against gender stereotypes: he might punch people out for a living but he often sports nail polish or wears women’s clothing, just cause he can. He’s a very 21st-century bloke.
So, who is Harry Garside, where is he from and what potentially lies in store for Australia’s next great boxing prospect? Allow us to answer all these questions and more.
In This Harry Garside Story…
- Harry Garside Quick Facts
- Who is Harry Garside?
- Harry Garside Boxer
- Harry Garside Olympics 2024
- Harry Garside Olympics 2020
- When is Harry Garside’s next fight?
- Harry Garside Workout
- Harry Garside Personal Life
- Harry Garside on I’m A Celeb
Harry Garside Quick Facts
|22 July 1997
|5ft 9in / 1.76m
|Around 60kg – competes in the lightweight division
|@harry_garside – 129k followers
Who is Harry Garside?
Harry Garside is an Australian boxer from Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia. He was born on 22 July 1997. He’s the youngest of three brothers and admits he was connected to his mother at a young age, compared to his brothers Josh and Jack, who were “blokey” and connected with their father, Shaun. He says in an interview with Better Homes and Gardens that he tried to “play a role to be a masculine man but deep down it wasn’t me.”
Harry Garside now has a full-leg sleeve tattoo with portraits of some of his favourite boxers, including Muhammad All and Vasiliy Lomachenko. He says they’re not just great boxers and athletes, but they’re great human beings outside of the ring, too.
Harry Garside Boxer
Despite not feeling masculine, Harry Garside pursued the idea of participating in boxing from the age of 9 and he fell in love with the sport immediately. He says boxing allowed to him “find out who I am, gave me self-love, discipline and self-care.”
Garside joined the Lilydale Youth Club to pursue a career in boxing. However, it didn’t get off to an amazing start, as he lost more fights than he won. In fact, he lost 10 of his first 18, but it didn’t deter his fighting spirit. If anything, the losses spurred him on further and he assumed an underdog mentality.
These days, Garside is a part of promoter No Limit Boxing’s stable of emerging young Australian boxers that includes Tim and Nikita Tszyu (sons of former world champion Kostya Tszyu), Sam Goodman and Paulo Aokuso.
Harry Garside Olympics 2024
It was confirmed that Harry Garside would represent Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympics for the second consecutive time. The 26-year-old Melbourne native’s future was in doubt after a very high profile split from his trainer last year, questioning Garside’s commitment to the sport when he opted to feature on I’m a Celeb instead of compete in a boxing match in his hometown.
Although Garside hasn’t boxed since November 2022, but will fight to win his country’s first Gold Medal in boxing when he competes at the Games next July.
Harry Garside Olympics 2020
Harry Garside competed in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in the Lightweight boxing division. After successfully making his way through the group stages, Harry guaranteed himself an Olympic medal when made it through to the semi-finals, which took place on 6 August 2021. His Olympic semi-final boxing match was against Andy Cruz from Cuba.
Cruz went into the boxing match as the favourite, due to his vastly superior boxing experience. At the time, Harry Garside’s boxing record was 19-15 (wins, losses) compared to Andy Cruz’s 110-8 record.
Harry Garside did ultimately lose the fight by unanimous decision, but in doing so, still managed to win an Olympic bronze medal. It marked the first time an Australian boxer had won an Olympic medal in 33 years.
Before his Olympic bronze medal win, Harry Garside had already won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He did so whilst maintaining his regular day job as a plumber. Harry has since donated his bronze Olympic medal to the MCG Sports Museum.
Garside has since turned professional but insiders say that there’s a good chance he could return to being an amateur to go to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
When is Harry Garside’s next fight?
Harry Garside hasn’t fought since May 2022 when he suffered a hand injury that required surgery and ruled him out of his next fight. Harry Garside was due to step into the boxing ring on September 15th, 2022 at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane, Queensland.
He was set to fight fellow Australian boxer Miles Zalewski as the first match on a night where former NRL player Paul Gallen squared up against both Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant on the same night, a world first in boxing.
However, Harry, unfortunately, had to pull out from the fight after suffering a hand injury during training. Harry said of the decision to pull out of the event, “I’m sorry to everyone that was excited to see me back in the ring that I won’t be there next week, especially to my opponent.”
Harry Garside Workout
Harry Garside is known for his insane workout routines and his love of setting himself extreme fitness challenges.
For example, he’s previously taped his mouth shut for a full 24 hours, forcing him to breathe through just his nose. Nasal breathing has been found to have positive effects, as it helps provide a greater amount of oxygen into your bloodstream.
WATCH Harry Garside’s extreme nasal breathing workout below.
He’s also shared a 90-min “torture” workout where he denies himself water in order to get dehydrated and work out even harder.
Harry also strongly endorses the use of cold water therapy as not only being part of a solid workout routine, but he’s also talked about how it’s been beneficial for his mental health, too.
Harry Garside Personal Life
Harry Garside is currently single.
Until 2022, Harry was dating fellow boxer and personal trainer Ash Ruscoe – although it seems the pair have broken up, with both of them having purged the other from each other’s social media accounts.
Ash is also a keen advocate for women’s empowerment and so her goal is to teach young girls that they are equal to men and can have the strength to compete on the same level.
The pair had previously said they would like to one day open up their own boxing gym together in a low socio-economic area: Harry has said he doesn’t mind if he doesn’t get to create championship-level boxers, he just wants to create “good humans”.
Is Harry Garside gay?
Harry Garside identifies as a straight man; the heavy-hitter has had previous relationships with different women, but due to his interest in sports that are stereotypically considered to be feminine, such as ballet, and his desire to wear women’s clothing when he’s not in the ring, many people have questioned his sexuality throughout his career.
Garside has revealed that he’s been the subject of homophobic abuse for his interests, even though he’s not gay.
Harry Garside started taking ballet lessons at the age of 19. He was very aware of the fact ballet is often seen as a women’s discipline, but he says ballet lessons have helped him with his boxing.
There are several mental stresses and pressures that arise when stepping into the ring; it’s important to be physically strong, yet light on your feet; fast and agile, yet balanced. There are many parallels between boxing and ballet, and it’s something that Garside has embraced, regardless of the perceived femininity associated with the sport.
Harry Garside Challenging Gender Stereotypes
Not only has Harry Garside generated headlines for his boxing career, but also for how he aims to banish gender stereotypes and to be a role model for young men who want to be a little bit quirky.
Harry Garside Dress
Harry Garside has said that he’s proud to wear a dress, challenging gender stereotypes to initiate wider conversations about identity and gender norms.
Although Garside identifies as a straight male, he’s often been the subject of homophobic abuse throughout his career and remains a staunch ally for the LGBTQA+ community.
“I hope that I’m being a good advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and helping make more straight people start questioning their beliefs,” Garside told DNA Magazine, Australia’s leading LGBTQA+ publication.
He has been seen on numerous occasions rocking nail polish or wearing women’s clothing.
He has previously spoken to Fox News Sports (via The Bridge) about his decision to wear nail polish, which he showed off following his Olympic medal in. He said:
“There are a lot of people out there who feel like they have to be something because they’re male or female. I’m all about just being different.”Harry Garside
“I was going to wear a dress to the opening ceremony. But I didn’t want to offend anyone. I feel like some people might take it the wrong way, so this is my way of showcasing something.”
Harry Garside on I’m A Celeb
Garside recently participated in the Australian version of the popular reality TV show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in which he lived in the South African jungle with other celebrities for several weeks.
He’s spoken out about the negative impact the show had on his boxing career, saying that he lost important sponsors and opportunities while he was away.
Garside says that he was initially hesitant to participate in the show, but was convinced to do so by his management team.
Despite the setbacks, he has no regrets about appearing on the show and is now focused on rebuilding his boxing career.
Garside’s management team might have been on board with his move to go on I’m A Celebrity… but his trainer, the legendary Johnny Lewis (who has trained six world champions including Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu) wasn’t quite as keen, dropping Garside in response.
Lewis reportedly made the move as Garside chose the TV appearance over the opportunity to headline a Foxtel Main Event boxing card in his home city of Melbourne.
“The ingredients for being a world champion are hard work and commitment,” Lewis told The Daily Telegraph in February 2023. “You can’t keep knocking back fights… I’m actually really disappointed but I genuinely wish him well although I’m not sure that he’s choosing the right path.”