'Just another kick to the guts' for Debono
BOXING: Eddie Debono described the moment the doctor told him he was not fighting at the Grafton Fight Night on Saturday as "another kick in the guts".
The South Grafton boxer, who has trained heavily at the Grafton Amateur Boxing Club in the lead-up to his expected bout against Woodburn's Tyler White, was told he would not fight again by the doctors at his pre-event medical.
It was another tough pill for The Brick to swallow after being ruled out of any rugby league two years ago.
"I have had a few good kicks to the gut lately and this was just another one like that," Debono said.
"I just feel a little bit picked on. I didn't get to go out how I wanted to on the field and now it is the same in the ring."
Debono has suffered from several personal injuries and conditions including a troublesome arthritic condition, ankylosing spondylitis, which affects the former Rebels' spinal chord.
Debono also suffered a serious broken jaw in 2000 when doctors informed him he should not play contact sports ever again. He instead took up boxing the next year and continued to play rugby league for more than a decade.
"I have made a habit of doing the things I couldn't over the years," he said.
"But now I have just come to a screeching halt."
The powerhouse said in previous fights getting past doctors and medical clearances was a lot easier, but this time at 36 years old the doctor barely even needed to take a look.
While it might not be on his own terms Debono will finish with a amateur career record of 15 wins, one exhibition and four losses from his 20 fights.
Debono visited fight promoter Dean Cribb to pass on his apologies.
"I am not a sore loser, I just didn't want it to end that way," he said.
"A couple of the boys put a lot of work into me, and I didn't want them to think it was all for nothing."'