Legendary boxing trainer and HBO commentator Emanuel “Manny” Steward passed away last week at the age of 68 due to complications from diverticulitis.
Steward, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996, is recognized as one of the top boxing trainers in history. He rose to fame and acclaim after leading Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns to various world titles in the 1980s. He was also named Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1993 and 1997.
Based out of the Kronk gym, Steward and his gym built a reputation for producing tough, hard-nosed fighters. Over the years, he guided more than 40 fighters to world titles, many of them dominant in their divisions. In addition to Hearns, Steward’s champions included fighters such as: Wladimir Klitschko, Lennox Lewis, Mike McCallum, Michael Moorer, Evander Holyfield, Oliver McCall, John David Jackson, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Oscar De La Hoya, Jermain Taylor, Chad Dawson, Miguel Cotto and more.
Steward had a wonderful ability to breakthrough the broken psyche of fallen fighters. Champions such as Lewis and Klitschko were known for having suspect chins and heart until Steward’s masterful guidance helped propel them to greatness. He was well-respected throughout the ranks of boxing.
Amongst friends and colleagues Steward was known as very energetic and personable and universally described as an all-around good guy. He built long-lasting relationships with his fighters as a trainer, friend and mentor. He was known to take time to hold conversations with boxing fans for hours and was always willing to pose for photos or sign autographs. As a commentator, he was always cheerful, insightful and honest.
The famed Detroit trainer leaves behind a rich legacy in boxing. HBO Boxing won’t be the same without him and he’ll always be remembered for getting the most out of his fighters – inside the ring and out.