HALL OF FAMER: Steward
SEVERAL BOXERS have led the tributes to trainer Emanuel ‘Manny’ Steward who passed away aged 68 on October 25 having recently undergone surgery for a stomach illness.
In a training career that spanned over 40 years, Steward coached 41 world champions including undisputed heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis and current heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko.
Steward spearheaded the Kronk Gym in Detroit, Michigan which produced world titlists such as Hilmer Kenty, Milton McCrory and his protégé, the five-weight world champion Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns.
He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.
Lewis, who worked with Steward from 1994 until his retirement in 2003, said on his official website: “I’m completely devastated by the passing of my long time friend, mentor and trainer Emanuel “Manny” Steward. Manny has helped me get through some of the biggest fights in my career and I only regret that I couldn’t return the favour and see him through his biggest fight.
“Manny always told me I was the best, but the truth is, HE was the best and I’m grateful, privileged and honoured to be counted among his many historic successes.”
PARTNERSHIP: Lewis and Steward
He continued: “This has been a very tragic year for the boxing world, but today we’ve truly lost one of its crown jewels. Manny was giving, selfless, compassionate and stern. He always gave back to the community and never forgot where he came from. He was an institution unto himself and I’m proud to have had him in my corner for so many years.”
Klitschko seconded Lewis’ sentiments, saying on his official website: "Boxing has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Emanuel Steward," Wladimir said in a statement posted on the Klitschko brothers' official website.
"Vitali and I, along with the entire Team Klitschko, send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Emanuel's family and friends.
"It is not often that a person in any line of work gets a chance to work with a legend. Well, I was privileged enough to work with one for almost a decade.
"I will miss our time together. The long talks about boxing, the world, and life itself. Most of all I will miss our friendship.
"Rest in peace Emanuel. You will be greatly missed. Until we meet again my friend."