Harry Garside is an Australian boxer who has become Australia’s first Olympic medal winner in over 30 years. What makes Harry Garside such an interesting boxer, however, is the fact he wasn’t seen to have boxing potential when he was young. He has also made a stand against gender stereotypes and can often be seen sporting nail polish or wearing women’s clothing.
He’s most certainly a boxer of the 21st century.
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.
Harry Garside Quick Facts
Name: Harrison Garside
DoB: 22 July 1997
Height: 5ft 9in / 1.76m
Weight: Around 60kg – competes in Lightweight division
Instagram: @harry_garside – 58k 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 Muhammed 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
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.
When is Harry Garside’s next fight?
Harry Garside was due to step into the boxing ring on September 15th at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane, Queensland. Harry was scheduled 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.”
“It’s definitely challenging mentally and physically because you put so much on yourself to be at the absolute peak come fight night but I couldn’t risk my future by going into a fight less than 100 per cent.”
Harry Garside’s opponent, Miles Zalewski, has an impressive fight record to date. He has appeared in 13 bouts so far and won 11 of them by knockout. His two losses, against Dana Coolwell and Darragh Foley, have also both been by knockout.
Harry Garside Personal Life
Harry Garside currently has a girlfriend, Ash Ruscoe, who is also a boxer. The pair have said they would like to one day open up their own boxing gym in a low socio-economic area, more so so that they can teach kids to be good humans. Harry has said he doesn’t mind if he doesn’t get to create championship-level boxers, he just wants to create good humans.
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.
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. He says there is a lot of crossover between the two, because of the mental pressures that come with ballet, but also due to the strength needed to be generated through the legs.
Banishing Gender Stereotypes
Not only has Harry Garside generated headlines for his boxing career, but also for the way in which he aims to banish gender stereotypes and to be a role model for young men who want to be a little bit quirky. 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. 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.”