Famed boxing trainer Emanuel Steward, died on Thursday after a short illness, his sister, Diane Steward-Jones, told to Free Press. “He has passed – he’s gone home,” Steward-Jones said by phone. “He was in no pain, and we sang to him, as well as did the doctors present. He had loved ones around him.”
Steward recently trains heavyweight, until an serious but undisclosed illness forced him to take at least a leave of absense from training. He spent the last few weeks in Chicago-area hospital after undergoing surgery for diverticulitis and died at 2:46 p.m. Detroit time, Steward-Jones said. He was 68.
Steward was a revered as one of the best boxing trainers that the sports has ever produced. He treained numerous well known boxers that become world champions including heavyweights, Wladimir Klitschko, Michael Moorer and to name a few. He established Kronk Gym as the center of Detroit's gritty boxing scene.
In the 80's, Steward trained welterweight Thomas Hearns, whom he was credited of transforming a light hitting boxer into a devastating puncher. Hearns became one of Steward's most popular fighters, fighting, knocking out Roberto Durán, and challenging undisputed Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Dozens and dozens of boxers also sought help from Steward including Julio César Chávez, Kermit Cintron,, and Yuriorkis Gamboa. He appeared as expert analyst on HBO's boxing telecasts mostly with .
"There are no adequate words to describe the enormous degree of sadness and loss we feel at HBO Sports with the tragic passing of Manny Steward," HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said in a statement via ESPN adding, "Ten bells do not seem enough to mourn his passing. His contributions to the sport and to HBO will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Top Rank honchowas a long time friend of Steward also issued a statement, "We are all grieving the passing of our friend Emanuel Steward," Arum said. "His founding and leadership of the Kronk Gym in Detroit was outstanding. His efforts produced many world class fighters and champions including Tommy Hearns, Milt McCrory, Michael Moorer and many more. Emanuel Steward always stood for the best that boxing could offer. He will be missed by all of us."