2007-06-19 07:58:13 UTC
Prince Albert boxer Curly Ray Fiddler, once a top contender for George
Chuvalo's Canadian heavyweight title, has died after a long battle
Family and friends remembered Fiddler during a funeral Friday in
Prince Albert. He died June 10 at the age of 67.
Fiddler achieved remarkable success in the boxing world despite the
fact he was blind in one eye from age nine on. While Fiddler was
growing up at an orphanage near Green Lake, about 300 kilometres north
of Saskatoon, another boy shot an arrow that accidentally hit
Fiddler's left eye.
Fiddler never revealed his disability during his fighting career and
he never used it as an excuse.
"It was like a gift to me," he told The StarPhoenix during a December
2006 interview. "This right eye catches everything. It never bothered
me. I wasn't even thinking about that."
Fiddler captured a Commonwealth boxing title in 1959 by defeating
Tiger Macklin in Prince George, B.C. He was later among the top
contenders for Chuvalo's Canadian title, but the two never fought.
Fiddler went on to train numerous fighters who competed at the
"I used to ride the bike while he did shadow boxing," said Lorie
Fiddler, the second-eldest of five daughters raised by Curly Ray and
Marilyn Fiddler. "I'd ride by his side and watch him jog 10 miles a
day. I'd watch what he ate and how he always stayed in shape. We were
a family of girls, but yet there would be so many boys around -- all
of the guys he was training."