Dave Sands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dave Sands
Statistics
Real name David Ritchie
Rated at Middleweight
Light-heavyweight
Heavyweight
Height 5′ 10½″ / 179cm
Nationality Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg Indigenous Australian
Born (1926-02-04) 4 February 1926 (age 89)
Burnt Bridge, Kempsey, New South Wales
Died August 11, 1952(1952-08-11) (aged 26)
Dungog, New South Wales, Australia
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 100
Wins 87
Wins by KO 52
Losses 10
Draws 1


Memorial to Dave Sands in Glebe, Sydney, Australia

Dave Sands, (born David Ritchie), (24 February 1926 – 11 August 1952) was a Indigenous Australian The man the Americans called the "boxer with the educated left hand", received his due when he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998 at a ceremony held in Los Angeles, recognised as one of the greatest boxers never to have won a world title.

Early life[edit]

Born at Burnt Bridge Mission Kempsey, New South Wales, fifth of eight children of George Ritchie, a rodeo-rider and timber-cutter of mixed Aboriginal and European descent, and his Aboriginal wife Mabel, née Russell.

Sands' brothers Clement, Percival (Percy), George, Alfred and Russell also boxed, emulating their father and their maternal great-uncle Bailey Russell, a noted bare-knuckle fighter. In 1939 Percy travelled to Newcastle to train with Tom Maguire, At the age of 15 Sands joined Percy training with Maguire and both lived at Maguire's gym. Dave and his five brothers took on the Sands name, taken off a train guard "Snowy" Sands who helped Percy Ritchie, travel to fight fare free in 1940.

Career[edit]

Without Maguire's knowledge, Dave fought a four-round preliminary bout in August 1941 at Newcastle Stadium, swinging his way to victory in the first round. Maguire disapproved, but quickly transformed him into a skilled boxer. By the end of 1942 he had knocked out a dozen opponents at Newcastle. On 11 August 1945 he married 18-year-old Bessie Emma Burns at St Paul's Church of England, Stockton.

Sands was soon boxing in twelve-round matches before excited crowds of up to ten thousand people in Brisbane and Sydney. In May 1946 he defeated Jack Kirkham for the Australian middleweight title. Three months later he knocked out Jack Johnson in four rounds to become national light-heavyweight champion. The rematches were even more one-sided: Kirkham was defeated in five rounds and Johnson fell after 2½ minutes of furious punching. By 1948 Sands had beaten all his local opponents and most American 'imports'. His mauling of a French fighter Tony Toniolo in less than two minutes in February 1949 led the English promoter Jack Solomons to take an interest in him.

Despite an enthusiastic reception from the British press, Sands began his campaign for a world title disastrously. In London on 4 April 1949, while suffering from a swollen, recently vaccinated arm, he was outpointed by Tommy Yarosz. Fifteen days later Sands won, dismally, against a spoiler, Lucien Caboche. Maguire then moved him to Newcastle upon Tyne, where friendly locals and a promoter Joe Shepherd restored his confidence. After two solid victories, he returned to London and in July thrashed the much fancied Robert Villemain in the 'fight of the year'. On 6 September Sands demolished Dick Turpin in 2 minutes 35 seconds for the British Empire middleweight title.

Shortly after his triumphal return to Australia in November 1949, Sands survived a serious accident when the steering on his motorcar failed and the vehicle somersaulted into a creek. Over the next eighteen months he contested and won nine fights, one of them a fifteen-rounder in September 1950 in which he took the Australian heavyweight championship from Alf Gallagher. Sands had become a leading contender for the world middleweight title and Maguire vainly sought to arrange a bout with the American champion 'Sugar' Ray Robinson. In the tricky maze of international boxing-promotion, his efforts were marked by a 'paper-chase' of offers and counter-offers. Sands defeated Mel Brown in London in July 1951 in a preliminary to a title-fight between Robinson and another contender Randolph Turpin. Had Maguire's negotiations succeeded, Sands would have been in Turpin's place and probably would have beaten an unfit Robinson, as did Turpin.

In October Sands won two fights in the United States of America. Back home, he hoped for a world title-bout, but he was estranged from Maguire. A new manager Bede Kerr reopened discussions with Robinson's connexions, but 'the chance never came'. On 11 August 1952 the truck Sands was driving overturned at roadworks near Dungog, New South Wales; he died of his injuries that evening in the local hospital and was buried in Sandgate cemetery, Newcastle. His wife, and their son and two daughters survived him; their third daughter was born in November. Sands had earned about £30,000, but it went on manager's fees, travel costs, tax, family expenses and generosity to his kin. A public appeal raised more than £2500, sufficient to pay off his Stockton home and create a trust fund for his family.

Professional Record[edit]

87 wins (52 knockouts, 35 decision), 10 loss, 1 draws
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., time Date Location Notes
Win 51-8-1 George Allen TKO 9 (12) 1947-11-24 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 50-8-1 George 'Wildcat' Henry PTS 12 (12) 1947-10-13 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 49-8-1 George 'Wildcat' Henry PTS 12 (12) 1947-09-08 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 48-8-1 O'Neill Bell KO 2 (12) 1947-08-06 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 47-8-1 George Allen TKO 1 (12) 1947-05-31 West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win 46-8-1 Emory Jackson TKO 7 (12) 1947-05-03 West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win 45-8-1 Emory Jackson PTS 12 (12) 1947-04-14 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 44-8-1 Art Lind TKO 7 (12) 1947-03-24 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 43-8-1 Emory Jackson PTS 12 (12) 1947-02-14 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 43-7-1 Alf Gallagher KO 3 (15) 1946-11-30 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Draw 42-7-1 Jackie Marr PTS 12 (12) 1946-11-23 West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win 42-7 Jack Johnson TKO 1 (15) 1946-10-12 West Melbourne Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Australian light heavyweight title
Win 41-7 Jack Johnson TKO 4 (15) 1946-08-24 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Australian light heavyweight title
Win 40-7 Jack Kirkham KO 5 (15) 1946-06-07 Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Australian middleweight title
Win 39-7 Jack Kirkham TKO 12 (15) 1946-05-11 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Australian middleweight title
Win 38-7 Jimmy Brunt TKO 1 (12) 1946-03-02 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 37-7 Alex Buxton PTS 12 (12) 1946-01-26 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 36-7 Tommy Colteaux RTD 2 (12) 1945-12-27 Leichhardt Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 35-7 Al Walker PTS 12 (12) 1945-11-24 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 34-7 Max Cameron TKO 11 (15) 1945-10-20 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia New South Wales State Middleweight title
Win 33-7 Billy Myers KO 5 (12) 1945-08-11 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 32-7 Tom Laming KO 2 (12) 1945-07-07 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 31-7 Herb Broom KO 3 (12) 1945-06-16 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 30-7 Max Cameron RTD 6 (12) 1945-05-10 Leichhardt Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 29-7 Al Walker KO 7 (12) 1945-05-05 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 29-7 Max Cameron PTS 12 (12) 1945-03-29 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win 28-7 Al Walker PTS 12 (12) 1945-03-03 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 27-7 Jack Brander KO 2 (12) 1945-02-03 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 26-7 Jackie Marr PTS 12 (12) 1944-12-16 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 25-7 Jimmy Grey KO 8 (12) 1944-12-01 Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Loss 24-7 Jackie Marr PTS 12 (12) 1944-11-18 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 24-6 Max Cameron TKO 3 (12) 1944-10-21 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 23-6 Tom Laming KO 7 (12) 1944-09-23 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 22-6 Jackie (Young) Day KO 5 (12) 1944-09-02 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 21-6 Jimmy Grey PTS 12 (12) 1944-08-05 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 20-6 Bob Coglan PTS 12 (12) 1944-07-15 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 19-6 Dal Conway TKO 4 (12) 1944-06-30 Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Win 18-6 Bill Bayliss KO 2 (12) 1944-06-02 Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Loss 17-6 Doug Brown PTS 12 (12) 1944-05-13 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 17-5 Doug Brown PTS 12 (12) 1944-04-15 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 17-4 John Buchanan KO 2 (12) 1944-02-25 Kempsey Town Hall, Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 16-4 Jack McNamee PTS 12 (12) 1944-02-05 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 16-3 Bobby Clarke KO 6 (12) 1944-01-22 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 15-3 George Cook PTS 12 (12) 1943-12-18 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 14-3 Billy Myers PTS 12 (12) 1943-11-27 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 14-2 George Cook PTS 12 (12) 1943-11-20 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 13-2 Bobby Rivers TKO 9 (12) 1943-10-23 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 12-2 Cliff Bowen TKO 2 (12) 1943-09-11 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 11-2 Ken McDermott KO 1 (12) 1943-08-21 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 10-2 Ken McDermott RTD 10 (12) 1943-08-14 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 9-2 Eddie Truxel PTS 6 (6) 1943-07-17 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 8-2 Bill Warren PTS 8 (8) 1943-07-03 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 7-2 Snowy Stephens PTS 6 (6) 1943-06-19 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 6-2 Len Baker KO 1 (4) 1943-06-12 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 5-2 Gunner Wilkinson TKO 4 (4) 1941-11-25 Greater Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 5-1 Cec Burr KO 2 (4) 1941-09-23 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 4-1 Eddie Roebuck PTS 4 (4) 1941-09-20 Greater Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 3-1 Eddie Roebuck PTS 4 (4) 1941-09-16 Greater Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 3-0 Eddie Roebuck KO 4 (4) 1941-09-13 Greater Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 2-0 Paddy Chapman TKO 4 (4) 1941-08-26 Greater Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win 1-0 Leo Con Corrigan KO 1 (4) 1941-08-16 Greater Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Dave Sands Debut

Titles[edit]

Preceded by
Jack Johnson
Australian heavyweight Championship
1950-52
Succeeded by
Ken Brady
Preceded by
Dick Turpin
Commonwealth (British Empire) Middleweight
1949-52
Succeeded by
Randolph Turpin
Preceded by
Jack Johnson
Australian Light Heavyweight Championship
1946-52
Succeeded by
Carlo Marchini
Preceded by
Jack Kirkham
Australian Middleweight Championship
1946-52
Succeeded by
Al Bourke

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Pictures held and digitised as part of the Arnold Thomas boxing collection by the National Library of Australia