First Name: Raymond "Sugar Ray"
Last Name: Downey
Sport: Boxing
Inductee Type: Athlete
Year Inducted: 2015
Home Town: Halifax
County: Halifax County

Raymond Downey started boxing as a 10-year-old kid at the Citadel Boxing Club, where he followed his father Dave Downey and was coached by club owner Taylor Gordon. A few months later, Downey had his first bout, a fight on local television – and he lost. Within a couple of months, he was back in the ring – and won.

Gordon was a strong influence and predicted that Downey would make it to the Olympics, which he did, winning a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. He also won silver at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, several golds at Canadian junior, intermediate, senior championships, and other medals at international competitions.

In 15 years of amateur boxing, Downey won 160 bouts and lost only 20. As a professional, he was 16-2-1 with eight knockouts. Downey was known for his efficient boxing style and easy-going personality. Gordon helped raise money for Downey to go to competitions, where Downey represented Nova Scotia with excellent skill and sportsmanship.

In 1987 he won a gold medal at the Canada Winter Games in Sydney, NS and was named captain of the boxing team, Nova Scotia flag bearer, and best boxer in the tournament.
The next year, his first as a senior, he won the Canadian championship at 71 kg. Boxing in the Olympic semi-final in Seoul, Downey lost a close and controversial decision to a South Korean opponent. Most in the audience felt Downey was denied the opportunity to fight for gold because of an earlier decision against a Korean fighter that put political pressure on the judging crew.

That didn’t slow the recognition for Downey. He was named Canada’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year and Nova Scotia’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1988, eventually qualifying for the 1992 Olympics and turning professional shortly after.

Following his professional career, Downey completed a cooking course at Nova Scotia Community College and went to work as a chef at Casino Nova Scotia where he’s been for the past 10 years.


• Bronze medal at 1988 Seoul Olympics
• 3-time Canadian Senior Boxing Champion
• Silver medal at 1990 Commonwealth Games
• Silver medal at 1990 World Cup of Boxing
• Gold medal at 1990 President’s Cup
• 2 gold and 3 bronze medals at the Canada Cup
• Competed at 1992 Barcelona Olympics
• Boxing Canada Male Boxer of the Year, 1990
• Amateur Record: 160 wins, 20 losses