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Dave Sands Dave Sands i(A107042 works by) (birth name: David Ritchie)
Born: Established: 24 Feb 1926 Kempsey area, Mid North Coast, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 11 Aug 1952 Dungog area, Upper Hunter - Dungog - Gloucester area, Newcastle - Hunter Valley area, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal
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Dave Sands is the professional name of David Ritchie, an Indigenous boxing champion of the 1940s and early 1950s. Sands was born at Burnt Bridge, near Kempsey on the New South Wales mid-coast, to Mabel and George Ritchie, of the Dunghutti people. After George Ritchie died in 1935, the close-knit family worked hard to provide financial security for the family. Sands worked with his brothers to open a timber cutting business as well as to train for their boxing careers.

Sands came to the attention of a boxing scout after his elder brother Percy Ritchie, fighting under the name Ritchie Sands, gained some success in the ring. Sands fought his first professional event in Newcastle in 1941 and he won a further four fights that year, losing only two. After a year away from the ring, Sands won ten out of eleven bouts in 1943. In 1945, Sands married eighteen year old Bessie.

Over his eleven-year career, Sands fought one hundred times with eighty-seven wins and ten losses. Sands won the Middleweight Championship of Australia in 1946 and went on to win the Light-Heavyweight and Heavyweight Championships of Australia as well.

After a shaky start to his European campain in 1949, Sands began winning fights and positive media coverage. In September of that year, Sands won the Empire Middleweight title, his first international title, by knocking out the defender after only two minutes and forty-nine seconds. He was awarded the Sports Novels Belt in 1949 and retained it for the next three years. The Belt was later renamed the 'Dave Sands Memorial Belt'.

Sands never had to opportunity to fight for the world title and he was killed in a car accident in August 1952 at the age of 26. His wife was pregnant with their fourth child at the time of Sands' death.

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Last amended 7 Aug 2009 11:50:34
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