NEW CHAMP: South Grafton?s Eddie Debono, left, wows fight fans in Tamworth.
NEW CHAMP: South Grafton?s Eddie Debono, left, wows fight fans in Tamworth.

Stoush sets crowd roaring

By Tony White

Grafton boxer Eddie Debono ventured into the lions den at Tamworth last weekend and left the local crowd roaring.

The 108kg South Grafton Rebels league player and fledgling heavyweight scored a unanimous points decision over Dubbo boxing and kick boxing instructor, Phil 'Butterbean' O'Farrell.

The three-round stoush, that featured some fearsome power punching, turned out to be the fight of the night on the program at the Imperial Hotel, Tamworth, promoted by eight-times world kick boxing champion, John Hallford.

O'Farrell works as a trainer in Hallford's gym.

"O'Farrell is 115 kilos and has a huge stomach. The plan was for Eddie to work to the body," Debono's cornerman, Grafton's Kyle Hands said.

"Eddie won the first two rounds and lost the final round narrowly.

"It was a very tough fight, both fighters were banging some very big punches, but Eddie won a lot of fans with his performance.

"The other bloke had a lot of ticker.

"We're all proud of Eddie's performance particularly backing up so quickly after last week. His hands were still swollen."

Last week at the Men Of Steel promotion at the Grafton saleyards Debono defeated Daniel Barling.

Boxer fighting for his life

Las Vegas ? Two days after suffering a serious brain injury in a title fight, former International Boxing Federation lightweight champion Levander Johnson remained in a critical condition.

The 35-year-old Johnson is in the hospital's intensive care unit after being placed in a medicallyinduced coma following surgery Saturday.

Johnson was hit hard throughout Saturday's title fight against Jesus Chavez at the MGM Grand before the bout mercifully was stopped 38 seconds into the 11th round by referee Tony Weeks.

Chavez opened the 11th by landing a steady stream of blows ? all to the head ? that kept a dazed Johnson pinned to the ropes.

Johnson collapsed later in his dressing room and was rushed to University Medical Centre, where he underwent surgery for bleeding on the brain.

Johnson won his title in June with a seventh-round TKO of Stefano Zoff in Italy.

He was making his first defence of the crown and fighting in Las Vegas for the first time since 1996.

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