Boxer defending title in Africville
Cave fighting on site of African Nova Scotian settlement
Halifax boxer Tyson Cave is getting ready to defend his title this weekend in Africville Park.
The Nova Scotian will defend his super bantamweight Canadian Professional Boxing Council international title. Cave says he is focused on his challenger, Hungarian Gabor Molnar, but is also aware of the significance of fighting in Africville.
"Being a young, black Nova Scotian getting to fight on a black settlement, it's a little bit of pressure, but I always work good under pressure," he said.
'It's not about colour'
Africville was the home to one of Canada’s oldest black communities. It was devalued over decades with the introduction of slaughter houses, train tracks and the town dump. It was demolished over eight years in the 1960s.
In 2010, Halifax Regional Municipality apologized and created Africville Park on what had been Seaview Park. A church museum was later added. The bout will be fought under a tent on the grounds of Africville.
"This is a great honour for me and my family. It's not about colour. This is a great honour for Nova Scotia," Cave said.
Africville past, present and future
Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Genealogy Society, said the fight will be a potent symbol.
"When the idea came across to have a boxing fight in Africville — absolutely fantastic. It ties in the Africville from the past, the Africville now and the Africville into the future," he said.
Africville has a long history with boxing. Legendary champion Joe Louis visited the community and George Dixon, the first black world champion, was from Africville.
Cave agreed the fight is about more than boxing.
"The mark is already left behind. Africville is already an iconic place without me. I'm just trying to give back to a community that deserves it. And the way that I can do it is fighting," he said.
The ten-fight card includes three title matches.