By TIM HOWARD
GRAFTON amateur boxer Eddie DeBono has rapidly become a crowd favourite in North Coast fighting circles with yet another come-from-behind win.
In Ballins on Saturday the 165cm (5'5") DeBono overcame a massive height and reach disadvantage to better Yamba behemoth Wayne Reed, who entered the ring at 193cm tall and weighing 128kg.
Almost immediately the height and weight advantage was a problem for DeBono.
In round one Reed put his shorter opponent down for the count twice.
But each time DeBono bounced back to his feet, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
The crowd support had the desired effect for DeBono, who shocked his opponent in round two with a hail of punches that eventually sent the big man to the canvas.
The fighters swapped huge blows throughout the third and final with punches from DeBono twice knocking off Reed's protective headgear.
At the conclusion of the bout, with DeBono awarded a split points decision, the appreciative crowd showered the fighters with money, a rare demonstration of the crowd's appreciation of a good fight.
DeBono's trainer, Kyle Hands, said he was shocked at the size and weight of Reed.
"We had not expected Wayne to be so big, he's a monster," said Hands.
"Eddie has had three wins in a row now and we where had intended to use this match to prepare for a tough rematch in two weeks with Phil 'The Butter Bean' O'Farrell."
DeBono beat O'Farrell, from Dubbo, in a points decision last month and O'Farrell, who was unhappy with the decision will travel to Sawtell for a rematch.