Famed Boxing Trainer and HBO Boxing Commentator Emanuel Steward Passes Away Thursday At The Age of 68
When it comes to the world of boxing Emanuel Steward was known as one of the best trainers in the business. From Detroitâ€™s Kronk Gym to training Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. Steward died Thursday at the age of 68 in Chicago.
Steward loved the sweet science of boxing was known as the Godfather of Detroit boxing not only for working for some great boxers but also helping many young people use boxing as a way to get off the streets and use the sports as a way to stay out of trouble. His outgoing personality and endless energy to talk about the sport he loved with almost anyone willing to talk about the sport. From the media to fans who just wanted to learn more about his views on the sport he gave his time.
In his career he trained one of the four fighters in the 80â€™s that really defined the sport. Steward trained Tommy Hearns who had great battles with the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran. He would also train Evander Holyfield to the Heavyweight Championship as well as Lennox Lewis and the current Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Oscar De La Hoya in a statement said about Steward, â€œIt brings me great grief and sadness to hear of the passing of one of the best and most respected trainers of this era.â€ Steward trained De La Hoya in 1997.
De La Hoya would add, â€œI learned a lot from him during our professional relationship and I will be forever grateful for his help during that time. We were also friends and I know I am going to miss him as so many others will too. He was an important part of out boxing community.â€Â
He would not only train some great fighters but lend his time as a commentator on HBO Boxing calling some of the great fights of recent time with a very personal approached that reached to fight fans.
Steward was born on July 7, 1944 in Bottom Creek, West Virginia. He began his boxing career at the early age of 8 years old and would later move to Detroit with his mother and sister when his parents divorced. Steward would continue his boxing career making it to the pro ranks fighting as a bantamweight were he earned a 94 wins and 3 loss record as an amateur fighter. That record earned him consideration for the 1964 Olympic team but had to decline to helps support his family and left boxing working for Detroit Edison as an electrician.
He would grow to fame training at Kronk Gym and when the gym closed he would continue training in the Detroit area. Steward was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. He is survived by his two daughters Sylvette Steward and Sylvia Steward and two sisters Diane Steward-Jones and Laverne Steward.
His sisters Steward-Jones told the Detroit Free Press on the day of his death that he spent much of his time in the hospital trying to sign the male nurses he had met there to fight for him. A true and personable person to the people he met, the sport of boxing and the sports world lost a great man.