Boxing mourns as Ray Wheatley passes
The World Boxing Council paid tribute to the late Ray Wheatley: “We are shocked and saddened to announce the passing of former heavyweight boxer and long time Fightnews.com® International Editor Ray Wheatley at the age of 74.
“Ray passed away this morning in a Sydney hospital following an operation. Ray was a luminary on the Australian boxing scene for many years. After his boxing career ended, he became a boxing official, an IBF executive, published “World of Boxing,” and was inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame.”
“Ray was part of Fightnews.com®’s original crew,” said Fightnews.com Editor-in-Chief Karl Freitag. “He covered Aussie boxing for us for nearly 24 years. He loved boxing, was a great reporter, and a great man. He will be missed by all in boxing. Thank you for everything Ray. Rest in peace, dear friend.”
Former Australian National Boxing Federation president John McDougall wrote, “It is with profound regret that I advise the Australian Boxing fraternity of the death of one our most loved members, Sugar Ray Wheatley. I was advised of this a few moments ago and a shock indeed to me as it will be to all. Ray passed away at 2:30am this morning in hospital following an operation.
“Ray was a giant among men, not only in stature but in his very being as a man. A great family man and friend to all he will be deeply missed.
“Ray was born on July 25 1948 and boxed as a heavyweight and in his third fight boxed the great Tony Mundine and was the only Australian, as I recall, to ever put Mundine on the canvas in a bout. His record stood at 11-12-1 and he boxed from 1969-1985. That was an era of great fighters in this country and Sugar won and lost among the best.
“It was his later career that he scaled the heights. He trained, managed and promoted. There was nothing he did not do in boxing. He refereed and judged both here and all over the world. He was a judge at 4 of Kostya Tszyu’s world title bouts among so many World Title appointments and he was highly respected throughout the sometimes crazy world of boxing.
“He was elected Vice President of the IBF, such was the regard that he was held in. He continued in this position for many years and among many world title bout supervisor honors, he was appointed to was one of the great Evander Holyfield’s Heavyweight title defenses. Ray founded and edited World of Boxing and Title Fight magazines in this country for many years. Magazines that were extremely popular, such was his writing and boxing knowledge, in conjunction with noted author and close friend Grantlee Kieza.
“Ray was awarded an OAM, was awarded the Snowy Robbins Trophy from the NSW Veteran Boxers Association and was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012 in recognition for his services to Boxing.
“Ray was a person of great integrity and as kind and friendly a guy as one could ever meet. His ability and style when conducting his interviews put all at their ease as he was so liked and admired by all. One of the few people of whom I can say truthfully that I never heard a bad word spoken of him.
“I am extremely proud to have known him as a friend. To his lovely wife Vicky and his family on behalf of all of the boxing world may I pass on our deepest sympathies and condolences. They have lost a loved husband and father. Boxing has lost a great friend and truly one of our greatest.
“May he rest in peace.”
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