The boxing world lost a legend — the greatest trainer of all time, actually — last Friday when Emanuel Steward, The Godfather of Detroit boxing, passed away from complications due from diverticulitis and cancer at 68 years old. Steward was still training fighters this summer despite the complications.
Steward was the most decorated trainer in history, working with 41 world title winners in his 40-year career that began at 16 when he coached his brother to consecutive Golden Gloves titles from the Kronk Recreation Center.
That's where his love for training began, despite compiling a 94-3 amateur record and a Golden Gloves title of his own. The Kronk Gym became legendary after Stewart trained one of the greatest amateur teams in history in 1971. Amateur boxing is sadly fading today, and will perhaps be where Steward's work, knowledge and impact will be most missed.
His professional resume is an encyclopedia of boxing royalty, including Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis, Jermain Taylor, Naseem Hamed, Chad Dawson, Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir Klitschko, Miguel Cotto, and Evander Holyfield. He was elected to the International Hall of Fame in 1997.
Steward has been a boxing analyst for HBO since 2001 and on Sunday, during HBO's triple-header, they paid tribute to Steward — including his classic tirade towards Lennox Lewis.
Pour one out for the greatest.