Garside is a trained plumber, but that’s about the only thing about him that comes close to regulation. At those Games he sported painted nails to challenge the gender stereotypes of his macho sport and at one point considered wearing a dress for the opening ceremony.
When you hear him speak so openly and seriously about his journey in boxing and in life, it’s no surprise to learn that he has worked with the Australian Institute of Sport and the Black Dog Institute as part of of their fitness program.
His Olympic hero is not a boxer but the great swimmer Grant Hackett, who sent him a message before his semi-final. But it was his fascination with ballet that intrigued journalists in Tokyo. He finds parallels with boxing and hopes to one day perform on stage, not just in the rehearsal studio.
“Honestly, I learned so much from ballet. It’s really hard, it still hurts the next day. It’s a big challenge, there are so many similarities to boxing, structure, discipline, my teacher shoots me all the time, ”said Garside, who also likes to refer to the 2000 teen drama. Center of the stage, which revolves around a group of young ballet dancers at a fictional New York academy.
“I really like it. I want to continue after boxing. One day I will do a performance, I’m not good enough yet.
Garside has work to do in his main profession, boxing, if he wants to flourish as a professional or go further in Paris. He moves like a lotus in the ring and carries his hands very low, which gives him some awkwardness but also makes him touchable.
Cruz had no problem getting clear counters at the start of the fight and he never gave in. Garside took some big shots in the third round and looked struggling before making it to the final bell.
He will now return home to Lilydale, where his classmates will continue to chop him for ballet and his ballet teacher will continue to berate him for chewing gum in class or poor posture at the barre.