LEWIS TAKES ON HARRY’S CORNER
BOXING legend Johnny Lewis is coming out of retirement at 77 years of age to train Olympic hero Harry Garside, who is about to turn professional.
Australia’s greatest trainer took Jeff Fenech, Kostya Tszyu and Jeff Harding to world titles in a remarkable training career that began 60 years ago and earnt him recognition in the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.
Lewis will be revealed as Garside’s trainer at a press conference on Thursday morning.
Garside bravely won a bronze medal for Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, later revealing he secretly fought with a broken bone in his hand that required surgery on his return home.
The 24-year-old will be managed by former Australian champion Peter Mitrevski, who is also the advisor for former NRL star and heavyweight boxer Paul Gallen.
He will have his first fight under Australia’s leading boxing promoter Matt Rose before Christmas.
Lewis has stayed closely involved in the fight game over the last decade.
He even cornered for trainer Graham Shaw in a Daniel Lewis fight in the US last year.
He has worked as a personal trainer and senior advisor to elite sporting teams in recent years.
“Johnny’s forgotten more than most trainers will ever know,” said one boxing insider.
“This is a huge coup for Harry as he turns professional and learns that it’s a different game to amateur fighting.”
Lewis began training boxers as a 17-year-old and took over the Newtown PCYC as head trainer way back in 1961.
He has seen what a slightly younger Wayne Bennett has done with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL and is hoping to take Garside all the way to a world title fight.
Lewis will be assisted by trainer Jayson Laing, who travelled to the world championships in Germany with Garside.
The 24-year-old Garside told News Corp in August he was considering a professional career.
“Financially, it’s tough as an amateur,” Garside said.
“You rely on your passion and love for the sport.
“I’ve got to think about putting food on the table. I’m 24 but I’ve got to start thinking about what my life’s going to be like at 54.”
An announcement on Gallen’s next fight will also be made at the Bondi Beach press conference.
It has been speculated the 2016 Cronulla Sharks premiership winning skipper will step into the ring against Manly prop John Aloiai, a former amateur fighter next month.