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Tiger Warrington statue unveiled in Liverpool

Sharon Johnson, daughter of Terrance “Tiger” Warrington, and local historian Tim McDonald who envisioned the project more than 20 years ago, unveil the statue of Tiger Warrington that is located on Liverpool’s waterfront in Privateer Park.
Sharon Johnson, daughter of Terrance “Tiger” Warrington, and local historian Tim McDonald who envisioned the project more than 20 years ago, unveil the statue of Tiger Warrington that is located on Liverpool’s waterfront in Privateer Park. - Vernon Oickle

Queens County pays homage to homegrown hero

Sunday, June 24, was a day of celebration as Queens County paid homage to one of its own homegrown heroes when the statue of Canadian boxing great, Terrance “Tiger” Warrington, was finally unveiled.

Hundreds of local residents and visitors gathered in Liverpool’s waterfront Privateer Park for an event that was more than 20 years in the making, according to local researcher Tim McDonald who, in partnership with Tiger’s great niece Tina Warrington-Joudrey, dreamed of one day seeing a statue erected to celebrate the accomplishments of the legendary boxer.

“But that was a long time ago,” McDonald said as he remembered the events that led up to the recent celebrations. “And there were many times that we thought it would never happen, but here we are.”

His only regret, he said, was that Tina was not here to witness the event as she passed away in 2016. The statue of Tiger is dedicated in Tina’s memory.

“This is my proudest day,” he added.

Tiger was born in Liverpool on April 12, 1910 and he would remain in Western Head for most of his life. He would also help to put Nova Scotia on the boxing map during his career in the ring. By the time he retired, he would have faced many of the top fighters of his day and done well enough to be ranked in the top 10 in the world.

James Warrington, who stood in as a body double for Liverpool statue maker Ivan Higgins, stands with Sharon Johnson in front of the newly-unveiled statue of Terrance “Tiger” Warrington. -Vernon Oickle
James Warrington, who stood in as a body double for Liverpool statue maker Ivan Higgins, stands with Sharon Johnson in front of the newly-unveiled statue of Terrance “Tiger” Warrington. -Vernon Oickle

Standing at 5-10, Tiger fought most of his bouts as a light heavyweight and was considered a powerful puncher who could hurt an opponent with either hand. He made his pro debut on Nov. 7, 1934, when he took on 37-fight veteran Bud Mignault from West Bridgewater, Mass. He scored a sixth round TKO win in the match held in Halifax.

Throughout his career, Tiger was always ready to fight. He won the Canadian Light Heavyweight Championship on May 12, 1950, when he scored a fifth round knockout at a fight held in Kentville. He then defended his national title with a 12-round decision on June 17.

During the ensuing years, Tiger met every challenge, winning some fights and losing others. Then in what would prove to be his last fight, Tiger lost his Canadian title on July 2, 1952, in Saint John, N.B.

Tiger’s final ring record would stand at 32 wins, 15 losses and one draw. He would never be stopped in a fight and he would score 18 wins by KO. He died on Feb. 1, 1978, and is buried in a small, nondescript Liverpool cemetery almost a stone’s throw from the home where he spent most of his life.

Now, thanks to the efforts of many people, his daughter Sharon Johnson said younger generations will be able to learn about her father.

“If he was alive today to see,” she said during the ceremony, “he would be very proud. He would be humbled, but he would be very proud.”

In her comments prior to the statue’s unveiling, Johnson acknowledged those who made the day possible. In addition to McDonald and Tina, she thanked the Region of Queens Municipality for providing the land on which the statue stands and for providing support to erect the statue and its base, the J & W Murphy Foundation for its financial contributions and Privateer Days executive director Brian Fralic for spearheading the campaign that finally led to the statue being erected.

In particular, she applauded Liverpool artisan Ivan Higgins of Cosby’s Concrete Creations for capturing the life-size likeness of her father. “It’s amazing,” she said. “It looks just like him.”

One other person who played an important role in the statue, was Liverpool resident James Warrington, a distant relative of Tiger, who spent countless hours posing for Higgins as the statue took shape.

“It’s kind of crazy,” James said of being the body double for the statue maker as he stared at the figure made of concrete. “But it’s also kind of cool.”

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