Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie is being remembering by his family and friends as a loving family man of unshakeable resolve.
- Some 1,500 people have turned out to mourn fighter Dwight Richie in his hometown of Shepparton
- The boxer died earlier this month in a training accident, leaving behind four children
- His family has remembered him for his heart and resilience, which they say he drew from his heritage
Ritchie was only 27 when he died suddenly in a freak accident during a training session on November 9.
Born and raised in Shepparton, Victoria, ‘The Fighting Cowboy’, named in reflection of his strong connection to his country community, was introduced to boxing at the age of 12.
His sister, Shonelle Ritchie said her brother, who leaves behind four children, was a true champion from the start.
“It was clear from those early days he had a God-given talent,” Ms Ritchie said.
First fight for his life
From learning to box in a backyard gym, to becoming a state, national and world youth title holder, Ritchie had a promising career and bright future ahead of him.
Defying the odds and beating cancer as a young child, family members said strength was in his nature and that he never gave up.
“You worked so hard to make your dream of being a boxer a reality,” his aunty Pam said.
Speaking at his funeral yesterday, which was attended by some 1,500 people, one of Ritchie’s siblings said that his brother had taught him that “if a horse bucks, you get back up and keep on going.”
Strength in the blood
Ritchie was a Yorta Yorta man who found strength and pride in his identity, his family said.
“He made his mark on so many people from an early age,” Shonelle Ritchie said.
“He truly left his mark and will be in our hearts forever.”
Ritchie is being remembered as a family man who had a lot of love to give and he was loved dearly in return.
“If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died,” his partner, Samara, said in a poem.