In the 1960s and 1970s, boxing was a popular sport in Halifax. It was driven by local men from all parts of town, and was woven into the social fabric of the city. Boxing fans were a social club. The local gyms were always on the lookout for new talent and several times a year, some big names would be invited to meet the local stars.
This book is both sports biography and social history, following the life and career of the enigmatic prize fighter Dave Downey. It also explores the bizarre world of professional boxing.
Downey's boxing career coincided with one of the most dynamic period in Halifax's history, a time of economic and cultural transition and the emergence of the city's black population as a social and political force. Downey won the Canadian middleweight championship and defended his title five times before retiring.
Author Robert Ashe gives the issue of race fresh perspective with first-hand accounts from a diverse group of witnesses to the events of the 1960s and 1970s. Among these are Premier Gerald Regan, Mayor Walter Fitzgerald, well-known local journalists Pat Connolly, Harris Sullivan, Ace Foley, and civil rights activists Joan and Rocky Jones. Also included are the voices of the Downey brothers -- Graham Downey, longtime city councillor and his brother Billy who owned the famous Arrows Club.
About the author
Born and raised in Halifax, ROBERT ASHE began his journalism career in 1978 and has worked as a sportswriter, editor, photographer, crime reporter, and feature writer for several daily and weekly newspapers. Robert worked as a communication specialist and senior advisor in the federal government for 27 years. He has written four books, Just Enough Fog to Keep it Cool, Even the Babe Came to Play, Halifax Champion: Black Power in Gloves, and They Called Me Chocolate Rocket, a memoir he collaborated on with professional hockey coach and Haligonian John Paris Jr. Robert lives in Ottawa, Ontario.