On August 11 1952, Dave Sands tragically died in a truck accident, six miles from Dungong.
To commemorate 68 years since his passing, the Argus has started a three-part series into the world famous boxer.
Today we discuss his progress from Australian champion to world beater.
At 20 years of age, Dave Sands, the boy from Burnt Bridge, held the Australian middleweight, cruiserweight and heavyweight titles.
By dominating the majority of his countrymen, the overseas offers began to roll in from New Zealand, Singapore, America, Hawaii, England and others.
Unfortunately with Sands signed to Stadiums Ltd, these fights had to be rejected, however it wasn't the end to his world title dream.
Before he could venture overseas, Sands continued to fight in Australia.
His first fight in 1947 saw him lose on points to American Emery Jackson but in typical Sands' fashion he made up for it in the second bout with a points win while the third was a no-contest.
Sands then defeated another American in O'Neill Bell who had previously defeated Australians, Len Young Dittmar and Alex Buxton - Sands rated him as one of the best men he's fought.
Defeating Bell gave Sands worldwide attention with the Sydney Morning Herald's George Hall stating that victory "made the headlines in the States".
After five more Australian wins, Sands travelled to New Zealand for his first set of overseas fights.
He beat local crusierweight champion Doug Rollinson in one round with Sands recalling a story regarding his eating habits and trainer Mr Mac:
"I remember that before the fight Mr Mac stopped me eating a steak when I was halfway through it," he wrote in Sporting Life.
"He said it was too much for me.
"After I won so quickly I asked him what he thought I'd have done to Rollinson if I'd finished all of the steak.
"He just laughed."
Sands then rounded his New Zealand trip off by defeating Jackie Marr and the 14st 10lb, 6ft 2in, man mountain that was Don Mullet. Sands' final fight was a rematch with Marr that was decided as a no-contest.
Sands returned to Australia and continued to dominate, winning seven straight fights.
Impatient with Stadiums Ltd's inability to bring quality opposition to Australia, Sands and Mr Mac entertained an offer from English promoter Jack Solomons.
After mulling over the decision, Sands and Mr Mac decided to fly 13,000 miles from Newcastle to London - the Australian champion would be leaving behind his wife Bessie and kids to chase his dreams.
LN Bailey wrote in The London Star about his observations of Mr Mac, a man he described as someone who "not only knew his boxing from A to Z and back again but someone who was boxing".
"Boxing is no sissy game, but it is not a brutal, bashing business either. There is brains in it, more than brawn, in developing champions; training is getting speed, coordination and condition of body and mind in your man," Mr Mac told Bailey.
"Training should tune a boxer in the way that you tune a violin. And you cannot tune up a man unless his mind is alert and as fast working as his muscles. It's the brain which directs the muscles anyway."
It was clear Sands had ample support in his corner.
"How rare it is to find a manager who believes in his fighter for boxing's sake and not for the 25 per cent," Bailey added.
George Hall also wrote about Sands before his first fight in England after travelling to the country to cover him and another Australian sportsmen, Billy Cook.
"Sometimes this most unassuming of all Australians will fight as not many have done before," he said just before Sands' first fight in England.
"He will throw venomous left hooks, jab with perfect timing and balance and smash home lethal right crosses within a matter of seconds.
"Then for some inexplicable reason, possible in the very same round, he will box like a disinterested novice.
"Then something inevitably happens, to the discomfort of Sands' opponents. Sands' judgement of distance is incredibly good, but more often than not his defence is weak.
"He will take a punch to give a punch, but he has never been hurt in a contest and his next hard bout will be his first."
Hall finally added, "Due to the scarcity of opponents, every fight he has had has been something in the nature of a comeback for Sands, and possibly British fight fans will not see him at his best until he has a few fights under him.
"And you ask me how good he is. As I said before ... 'I don't know ... but I think he's good enough to win the world's middleweight title.'"
Upon arrival in England, Sands recounted the reception as one of the biggest any fighter visiting Britain has ever had - quite intimidating for a boy from Burnt Bridge.
"Solomons hired a special bus to bring the newspapermen to the airport to meet us. There were cameramen there and I was put through it by the pressmen," he writes.
From the attention at the airport, Sands was put straight into the gym and describes the presence of writers and cameramen there too as, "enough to frighten anyone".
The attention, as Sands describes, was unbelievable, and in some cases, overawing.
"If you'd believe what they wrote about me, I would do everything but fly when I was in the ring."
Sands' first fight was with Tommy Yarosz and he writes about injections he had in his arms, causing stiffness and swelling.
The walk out to the ring was something sports lovers are accustom to today, but had yet to be seen in Australia during that time.
The presence of only a spotlight, fixed solely on the boxer, was how Solomons got the crowd pumped ,and excited along with the fanfare-style music.
Sands says even Mr Mac had lumps in his stomach from all the commotion.
As Hall predicted, Sands' timing was off and he only found his feet in the late rounds.
Sands lost the fight and in typical English media fashion, they 'dropped' him and described him as overrated.
His next fight against Lucien Caboche was a win, but Sands wasn't happy with his performance and the media doubled down on their criticism, calling him "washed up".
You'd forgive Sands, a man from a small town who travelled 13,000 miles to chase a dream and be chewed up and spat out by foreign media, for wanting to head home, but the determination of the man kept him going.
A move from London to Newcastle-on-Tyne proved a masterstroke.
"I liked it there from the minute we walked in the door," Sands writes.
"The weather was almost the same as at home; the people were kind and friendly like home, too."
A month after his fight with Caboche, Sands knocked out Jackie Jones and the city of Newcastle made him and Mr Mac big-shots - in a good way.
"They put my life story in the Newcastle papers, interviewed me on the air, introduced me to the mayor ... It was good to know all these people were behind you," he said.
On June 3 1949, Sands defeated Dutchman Jan de Bruin, which then followed a fight with Robert Villemain in London.
Sands says if he lost this fight he'd be through and might as well go home.
As Sands described, the fight saw him dominate early but unable to break the big Frenchman.
Villemain made a comeback in the last few rounds on the back of Sands' fatigue from the early rounds, but it proved too late, with a points decision to the Australian.
That win, described as the best fight England had seen that year, delivered Sands the chance to fight Dick Turpin for the British Empire middleweight title.
The way Sands describes the lead-up to the fight and his confidence going in was something you could base a movie off.
"I trained harder for that fight than any in my life. Everything went right for me. I got some fast boys to work with, and did mile after mile of roadwork," he said.
"I went down through the crowd at Harringay that night followed by the spotlight again with the rest of the hall in darkness.
"When Turpin was in the ring, too, they played Advance Australia Fair and the National Anthem.
"The showmanship was frightening, but by that time I was used to Solomons' way of putting on fights."
In typical Sands fashion he started strong, rushing Turpin with a flurry of punches, "peppering him like a whirlwind".
The punches continued to flow and before he knew it Sands was the middleweight British Empire title holder by knockout in the space of two minutes and 45 seconds.
He said he was "on top of the world".
Sands' final fight in England was against Pete Mead who he defeated on points.
Following a broken hand from that fight, he headed back to Australia, excited to see Bessie.
He only had one fight against Bobo Olson in Australia where the nation was able to see their British Empire titleholder in the flesh before heading overseas again to Singapore.
He won two fights there against Boy Brooks before returning to Australia again.
Six fights in Australia and New Zealand came and went with victories to Sands, with a fight against Alf Gallagher for the Australian heavyweight title.
Once again dominating the national scene he went back to England with the intention of fighting Randolph Turpin, brother of Dick, with Randolph having eyes on the Empire title.
Trouble started for Sands when he and Mr Mac failed to see eye-to-eye on a managerial contract extension.
Mr Mac wanted five years but Sands only wanted six months.
With advice coming from all directions, he said his mind was jumbled.
They agreed on a three-year contract with Mr Mac earning 25 per cent of his takings.
Sands said the drawn-out process of the contract delayed his trip to England and cost him a fight with Turpin.
Turpin was then matched with one of the greatest fighters of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson.
He believes if the contract had been sorted out quicker it would have been the winner of a fight between Sands and Turpin, who got to fight Robinson.
Sands fought Mel Brown at Earls Court Arena on July 10, 1951 as the undercard to Robinson and Turpin which he won on points.
He watched the Robinson fight and described it as "dull".
Turpin won the fight by points but two months later Robinson knocked him out on home soil.
During his time back in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Sands had time to reflect on the needs of a boxer.
"Next to good mates, I reckon a boxer needs an easy mind and the ability to sleep well," he wrote.
"Part of my success is due to the fact that I can get plenty of rest on the day of the fight. I don't worry about what's going to happen if I'm asleep."
A month after the Brown fight, Sands defeated Doug Miller on points.
Following this, he believed he'd need the help of a promoter if he was to have any chance of a world title fight.
Enter Sydney Morning Herald journalist George Hall.
Hall, Mr Mac and Solomons managed to get him to America with Sands stating his aim was "to beat all men between me and a match with 'Sugar'."
However due to expenses, Hall was unable to travel to America.
Sands defeated Bobo Olson in Chicago and Henry Brimm in Buffalo.
The world title fight alluded him however, and his writings in Sporting Life end in November 1951.
He outlines his desire to challenge for a world title before finishing and was confident in his chances at winning one as a middleweight.
He writes of his appreciation for Mr Mac who "found me and taught me, and whatever I do will be because he helped me when I was a kid".
"For a man of 25 I think I've done well, but my best is still ahead of me," he added.
After the American fights, Sands lost to light heavyweight Yolande Pompey in Britain and after that he returned home for a February bout with Ron Toohey.
He defeated Toohey by technical knockout and in March defeated Chub Keith to defend his national cruiserweight title.
Sands then went on to defend his British Empire and Australian middleweight title against Al Bourke in Melbourne before again defending his national heavyweight title against Jim Woods in Wagga Wagga.
That knockout win against Woods would prove to be Sands' final bout with a tragic incident occurring a month later.
At 26 years of age, the boy from Burnt Bridge, was a four-time title holder, crowned as the Australian middleweight, cruiserweight and heavyweight champion coupled by the British Empire middleweight title.
His death would serve as a tragedy for a number of Australians but with the Hall of Fame awaiting, his legacy would be unparalleled ...