Radio Sandwell Sport

Emanuel Steward: Legendary boxing trainer dies aged 68

2012-10-26 00:09:26

Manny Steward

Emanuel Steward, who trained legendary fighters Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko among many others, has died at the age of 68.

As an amateur boxer, Steward won 94 of his 97 fights and a National Golden Gloves bantamweight title in 1963.

He made his name as a trainer at the Kronk gym in Detroit and Hilmer Kenty became his first world champion in 1980, followed by Hearns the same year.

Steward handled more world champions than any other trainer, 43 in all.

Hearns, who had been suffering from colon cancer, was perhaps most closely associated with Hearns, whom he first trained as an amateur at the fabled Kronk.

Having built the Kronk into an amateur boxing super-power, Hearns and Kenty came close to making the 1976 Olympic team.

And in March 1980, Kenty became Steward's first pro world champion when he won the WBA lightweight crown, also becoming the first world champion from Detroit since heavyweight great Joe Louis decades earlier.

Under Steward, Hearns became the first boxer to win world titles in five weight divisions and engaged in classic fights with Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler.

Steward linked up with Lewis following the British heavyweight's defeat by Oliver McCall in 1994 and the partnership endured until Lewis's retirement in 2004.

Steward was immediately enlisted by Wladimir Klitschko and, having lost his WBO belt to Corrie Sanders in 2003, the Ukrainian became world champion again in 2006.

Steward's roster of fighters reads like a who's who of boxing greats, with Wilfred Benitez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar de la Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Mike McCallum and James Toney also trained by him.

British greats trained by Steward, who was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 1996, are former light-heavyweight world champion Dennis Andries and former featherweight world champion Naseem Hamed.


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