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Aussie boxer Harry Garside has endeared himself to fans around the country with a classy reaction to his Olympic Games heartbreak on Friday.
Garside had no answer to Cuban Andy Cruz but will still walk away from Tokyo with Australia's first Olympic boxing medal in 33 years.
'SACRIFICED HIMSELF': Aussie's incredible act for Olympics teammate
World No.1 Cruz scored a unanimous points win in the lightweight semi-final to move through to the gold medal bout against American Keyshawn Davis.
Garside will join fellow beaten semi-finalist - Armenian Hovhannes Bachkov - in taking bronze, becoming just the fifth Australian to win an Olympic boxing medal and first since Grahame 'Spike' Cheney claimed silver in Seoul in 1988.
Garside had no answer to Cruz's speed, the two-time world champion equally effective on the front foot or counter-punching as he landed a number of telling blows on the Australian's chin to win every round.
After the fight, the Aussie was all class in defeat, congratulating his opponent and holding the rope for the Cuban as he left the ring.
Garside knew he'd been outclassed by the double world champion, but he and countless Aussies watching around the country were immensely proud of the performance.
After all, no Aussie had won an Olympic medal in men's boxing since the 1988 Games - making his achievement that little bit more special.
The 24-year-old's humility was on show in a classy post-fight interview where he heaped praise on his Cuban rival.
Garside said that while he was disappointed he couldn't win a first ever gold medal for Australia in men's boxing, he admitted that he was beaten by the better fighter.
Is it possible to like this bloke more than we do now?
To us, he's achieved way more than a bronze medal.
Harry Garside is out to inspire the next generation. We can't wait to see you again 💚 💛 pic.twitter.com/JYUDJB1ghF
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 6, 2021
Harry Garside humble in defeat
"I've always wanted to fight him and see how I stack up against him but he was just too good tonight," a humble Garside admitted.
"Just got to go back to the drawing board, back to the gym and make sure I train harder and make sure I'm better hopefully next time I fight him.
"He was just too good today, I felt outclassed a little bit but I had a red-hot crack and that's all Australians do, we have a red-hot dip and I'm proud of myself for that.
"I really wanted to be the first (Australian) to win an Olympic gold medal but hopefully he goes far in the tournament and wins the next fight," Garside said.
The humble manner of the Aussie's defeat drew widespread praise on social media.
— Yvette Poshoglian (@yvetteposh) August 6, 2021
— Wot's on in QLD (@WotsonQld) August 6, 2021
— TheMighty_Beast (@phlemzy_king) August 6, 2021
— 🥈 The Marto Institute (@Marto_65) August 6, 2021
— Gerald Rapinett (@GRapinett) August 6, 2021
All class by Harry Garside. Have loved watching him. A bronze medal is huge 👏🏼
— darcie (@_darciejade) August 6, 2021
— Ben Mitchell (@ben_mitchellll) August 6, 2021
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
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