Thursday, October 25, 2012

Emanuel Steward Dead At 68

Thursday morning, trainer to boxing’s greatest Emanuel Steward died, according to TMZ.
Reports indicate that Steward’s close friends announced Steward’s death to the media.

Emanuel Steward is an American boxing trainer, commentator and inductee of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Steward was born in Bottom Creek, West Virginia and, by the age of 12, he had moved with his mother to Detroit, Michigan. After moving to Detroit, he began to frequent the Brewster Recreation Center, where Joe Louis and Eddie Futch trained. Steward began an amateur boxing career there. He compiled a record of 94 wins and 3 losses as an amateur boxer, including winning the 1963 national Golden Gloves tournament in the bantamweight division. Afterward, Steward became interested in training amateur boxers. However, due to his family's economic situation, he needed a steady job, so he temporarily became an electrician.

In 1971 Steward took his half brother James Steward to the nearby Kronk Gym and became a part time coach there.

In the 1970s, the Kronk gym was a hot-bed for amateur boxers. Steward trained many of the nation's top amateurs. He eventually translated his success with amateurs into a career training championship-level professional fighters.

On March 2, 1980, Hilmer Kenty became Steward's first world champion by knocking out world lightweight champ Ernesto España.

Steward achieved his most notable early success with welterweight Thomas Hearns, whom he changed from a light hitting boxer into a devastating puncher. Hearns became one of Steward's most successful and popular fighters, fighting Sugar Ray Leonard, knocking out Roberto Durán, and challenging undisputed Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler in a fight known as The War.

He was most recently training heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, until an serious but undisclosed illness forced him to take at least a leave of absense from training.

10 Things You May Not Have Known About Emanuel Steward:

1) Emanuel Steward is a Detroiter, but he was actually born in Bottom Creek, W.Va., on July 7, 1944. At the age of 12, he and his mother moved to Detroit when he was 12 years old. Source: Detroit Free Press

2) Though Steward was a boxing trainer, he actually was a fighter himself. He began swinging his fists in the streets but joined the Brewster Recreation Center in Detroit where he began an amateur boxing career. He won the 1963 Golden Gloves tournament in the bantamweight division. Rather than pursuing a professional boxing career, Steward joined Detroit Edison Co. In 1971, he accepted a part-time position as head coach of the boxing program at the Kronk Recreation Center. Source: Detroit Free Press and Associated Press

3) Steward’s first professional boxing champion was a fighter by the name of Hilmer Kenty, a lightweight from Columbus, Ohio, who started training at Kronk’s Gym in 1978 and won the WBA title two years later. Source: Associated Press

4) Steward’s first prime-time champ was Tommy “Hitman” Hearns. He was the first boxer to win titles in four divisions — he won five overall — and topped his 155-8 amateur record by going 61-5-1 with 48 knockouts as a pro. Source: Associated Press

5) Forty-one boxers won world championships under Emanuel Steward tutelage. Source: Sports Illustrated

6) To get Evander Holyfield to “lossen up” for his fight against Mike Tyson, he took the fighter dancing. He also cooked many of his boxers’ meals; he even learned the recipes of Lenox Lewis’ mom’s Jamaican cuisines. There was no task too small for Steward when it came to helping his fighters become champions. Source: Sports Illustrated

7) The Boxing Writer’s Association of America named him trainer of the year in 1993 and 1997.Source: ESPN

8) In 1996, Steward was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Source: ESPN

9) Steward’s Kronk Gym closed in 2006 but he continued training fighter’s elsewhere in Detroit.Source: New York Times

10) Steward trained the current world heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, for the past ten years. It was only this week that Klitschko switched trainers for his upcoming fight due to Steward’s illness. It was longest amount of time Steward spent with a fighter since his days with Tommy “Hitman” Hearns. Source: New York Times

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