Wednesday night was supposed to be Aussie Olympic hero Harry Garside’s chance to impress the world — but he barely got the chance.
Olympic bronze medallist Harry Garside won his debut professional bout in controversial circumstances on Wednesday, with the referee calling the fight to a “somewhat premature” finish.
Garside was peppering opponent Sachin Mudaliar with a flurry of punches in the first round when the referee ended the bout because the Fijian was not fighting back.
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However, replays showed that Mudaliar had attempted a punch moments before the referee ended proceedings.
“Geez, he wasn’t done,” Main Event commentator Ben Damon said. “Sachin Mudaliar may have been outclassed here tonight but he deserved the chance to fight on.”
Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech muttered: “Terrible. That’s a bad stoppage.”
The referee explained to Mudaliar why he stopped the fight, saying: “If you throw punches back, we don’t stop it mate. you can’t lay against the ropes and not throw punches.”
Garside apologised to Mudaliar camp moments before he was proclaimed victor via TKO.
Main Event’s Paul Kent said: “That decision just stinks. It was such a poor call from the referee.
”Even though he was taking a lot of punches, he wasn’t hurt and they weren’t a lot of clean punches. A lot were being taken on the forearms and the gloves, so he never looked stunned by any of these.
“This referee … I don’t know where his head’s at.
“To kick off his career with a decision like this … I just can’t believe it.
“Very few of those of those punches were landing on the head.
“They have covered themselves in shame the boxing authorities the last two nights with some of the things that have gone on here.
“Larry, Curly and Moe are deadset running the boxing authority. They’ve got to get their act together.”
Sports reporter Simon Brunson tweeted: “That’s a s**t way to end Harry Garside’s pro debut, even though he won. He was on top but let the fight go, bloody hell. Ref stops it in the first round. Give us a break.”
Originally published as ‘Covered in shame’: TV host slams big fat Aussie boxing joke