Johnny Lewis reckons Harry Garside is "the real deal" after the Olympic bronze medallist retained his Australian lightweight title with a power-packed display in Newcastle.
Garside continued his meteoric rise up the professional ranks with a seventh-round TKO over gutsy Tasmanian Layton McFerran on Wednesday night.
Lewis, the legendary trainer who presided over the careers of world champions Jeff Fenech, Kostya Tszyu and Jeff Harding, believes Garside can follow in their footsteps.
"I really do believe in Harry," Lewis told AAP after being lured out of retirement to be the 24-year-old's cornerman.
"Discipline and the want are two things that come to the forefront with Harry, and fitness. He reeks of those.
"He gives himself every conceivable chance to win. He's a wonderful kid to train. He's just a wonderful kid. He's the real deal."
Lewis took charge of Garside after the Victorian last year became the first Australian since Grahame "Spike" Cheney in 1988 to claim an Olympic boxing medal.
The 77-year-old said Garside was impossible to turn down, even though he originally planned to, and credited No Limit Boxing promoters George, Matt and Trent Rose for guiding the emerging star through the ranks.
"His sportsmanship was good. He made me very proud to be an Australian with the way he went (in Tokyo)," Lewis said.
"He's got those skill levels. It's boxing at its best with Harry.
"He's done exceptionally well and, realistically, the Rose brothers take a gigantic rap for that."
An emotional Garside dedicated his successful title defence to his ailing mother after revealing she has cancer in a post-fight bombshell.
"Nine days ago, my mum told me she got diagnosed with breast cancer. This one was for her," he said, fighting back tears.
"If it was going to happen to anyone in the family, I'm glad it was her. She's the strongest one by far. She'll be fine."
Garside admitted it had been a rough build-up to his third professional fight.
"It was tough but it's the reason I wore the pink socks," he said.
"I knew I had to do it for her. She couldn't be here because she couldn't risk getting COVID but I knew she'd be watching so I know she'll be cheering from home.
"I've got the best parents in the world. I'm very lucky."