Wednesday night was meant to be the occasion for Australian Olympic hero Harry Garside to impress the world – but he barely had the chance.
Olympic bronze medalist Harry Garside won his first professional fight on Wednesday under controversial circumstances, with the referee calling the fight to a “somewhat premature” end.
Garside was bombarding opponent Sachin Mudaliar with a flurry of punches in the first round when the referee ended the fight because the Fijian was not fighting back.
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However, reruns showed Mudaliar attempted a punch moments before the referee brought the proceedings to an end.
“Hell, he wasn’t finished,” said Main Event commentator Ben Damon. “Sachin Mudaliar may have been upgraded here tonight, but he deserved the chance to fight.”
Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech muttered, âTerrible. It’s a bad stop.
The referee explained to Mudaliar why he stopped the fight, saying, âIf you throw punches back, we don’t stop him mate. you cannot lie against the ropes and not punch.
Garside apologized to Camp Mudaliar moments before being proclaimed the winner via TKO.
Paul Kent of the Main Event said: âThis decision stinks. It was such a bad decision from the referee.
âEven though he was taking a lot of punches, he wasn’t injured and it wasn’t a lot of neat punches. Lots of stuff was taken from the forearms and gloves, so he never looked stunned by any of these.
âThis refereeâ¦ I don’t know where his head is.
âTo launch his career with a decision like thisâ¦ I just can’t believe it.
âVery few of those punches hit the head.
âThey’ve shamed the boxing authorities the last two nights with some of the things that have happened here.
âLarry, Curly and Moe are at the head of the boxing authority. They have to pull themselves together.
Sports journalist Simon Brunson tweeted: âThis is the best way to end Harry Garside’s professional debut even though he won. He was at the top but gave up the fight, damn it. Ref stops him in the first round. Give us a break.