BOXING: More than 500 people packed into Raymond Laurie Sports Centre on Saturday night to watch an action-packed night of boxing and while not all decisions went the way of the locals, it was still a top night of entertainment.
Kingscliff Boxing Stables promoter Nick Midgley, who organised the Yamba Big Bash Boxing night, said its success meant there were already plans to make it an annual event.
"We had sold almost 400 tickets before the night even started and then sales on the door were incredible,” Midgley said.
"It was just a really good night of boxing.
"The spectators were all getting right into it and because they were all really good match-ups they were all really close.”
In his first pro fight, Grafton's Adam Stowe lost on a split decision after he went the distance against Nambucca Heads young pugilist Mitch Whitelaw.
It was a back and forth battle that Midgley referred to as the "fight of the night”.
It was a return to the ring that Grafton's Matt "Damage” Hartmann would like to forget after he was stopped in the first round.
But it was a decision that Midgley said was tough.
"I think he was a little hard done by on that decision,” he said. "He got back up pretty quickly after being knocked down.
"I think as a professional fighter you should be given every last opportunity to get back up and finish the fight and he wasn't given that.”
In his fourth fight, Midgley clinched the NSW Cruiserweight title by knocking out Sydney boxer Nick Xipolitas in the second round of their bout.
Midgley dropped his opponent with a clean left hook that landed on the chin.
"I am bloody glad it didn't go the eight rounds, I was really tired there,” he said.
"I felt in control of him from the opening bell, which was really good.
"I landed the hook and his legs went from under him instantly.
"I was rapt.
"The goal was to always clinch the title.
"Now I will just rest up and look to get back into the ring in the new year.”
In a proud moment for the locals, former Yamba fighter Troy Harding made good on his promise to his dying father last year when he jumped back into the ring for his professional debut.
It was a fight to remember for the cruiserweight after he stopped his opponent, Perth's Aiden Bennett, with a body shot in the third round.
Harding went in with a strict game plan from coach Brett Pescud at Power Boxing and it worked to a tee, with the 30-year-old working over his ooponent's ribs until the referee was forced to stop the bout.
"It is not easy going up against a guy like that but Troy fought like a champ,” Midgley said.
"He worked him over and worked him over until he got the decision. It was an awesome fight to watch live.”