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Remembering Emanuel Steward
Boxing insiders share their thoughts on trainer Emanuel "Manny" Steward, who died on Thursday.
Respected boxing trainer, Emanuel "Manny" Steward, who groomed young fighters, including Thomas Hearns, at Detroit's famous Kronk Gym, died on Thursday at the age of 68.
Bob Arum, Top Rank CEO
"He was a great friend in addition to that as well as a great business associate. I liked him very much. I really enjoyed him. We spent a lot of time together. It's really sad that he died at what, today, is a relatively young age.
"He was a tremendous trainer and a great corner man, and his advice was very inciteful. So, obviously, it was a great help to Miguel Cotto, as it was to so many other fighters.
"Remember, he also worked with De La Hoya for a while. But his greatest achievement was with those fighters out of Detroit with all of those Kronk boxers."
Edward Brophy, Hall of Fame executive director
"He was a great ambassador for the sport, always promoting boxing wherever he traveled. The Hall of Fame joins the worldwide boxing world in mourning the passing of a legend."
Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, formerly trained by Steward
Lou DiBella, promoter of middleweight contender Andy Lee, whom Steward trained.
"He was also a great announcer. He was a good friend and he had a tremendous sense of humor, he really did. He was a funny guy. He was fun to be around, and he loved boxing. He loved the sport. I have so many memories. I don't have any one memory."
Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager, Showtime Sports.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary Emanuel Steward today. Not only was Emanuel one of the most esteemed and accomplished boxing trainers in the history of the sport, he was also an incredibly generous and warm-hearted human being.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the Steward family during this difficult time. He will be missed by everyone his spirit touched."
Thomas Hauser, boxing historian
"Emanuel Steward was an important part of my professional life and also my friend. He was one of my 'go-to' guys. Whenever I was researching a major article -- whether it was on fighters from the past or the contemporary boxing scene -- I’d call Emanuel.
"We’d talk about what made this fighter great or how an upcoming bout shaped up. He was unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge. Over the years, we fell into a routine of getting together for lunch or dinner whenever I was on site for an HBO World Championship Boxing or HBO-PPV fight.
"Emanuel Steward was like the father I never had. To me, that's what he was, because my father was never there for me. He never spent any time with me.
"I never really knew my father, but I knew Emanuel. I first met Emanuel probably when I was 13. He was someone who was very, very dear to me, when you're talking about Emanuel.
"Emanuel Steward to me, he was a man that changed my life. Emanuel Steward helped me to become the man that I've become today."
Ken Hershman, HBO's president of Sports
Virgil Hunter, trainer of RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward
"But he raised them. He didn't have to give an explanation to why he was able to finish up a diamond that somebody else had mined, because he had mined so many of them himself. He loved talking about the good old days, watching these young guys develop.
"Jimmy Paul, Dwight Davison, and people like that who he developed from scratch. To me, that's the sign of a great man. Manny had a hold on boxing when he arrived, and he had a solid grip on it when he left and now that he's gone."
Wladimir Klitschko, RING heavyweight champion, trained by Steward
"Boxing has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Emanuel Steward. 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.
"My team and I will carry on with the goals we had set while Emanuel was with us because that is exactly what Emanuel would have wanted.
"I know he will be with us in spirit along the way and we will accomplish these goals in his honor. Until we meet again my friend."
Jim Lampley, HBO color commentator
"So to have spent the countless hours that I've spent with him, that's a treasure that I will carry with me for as long as I live. We're talking about Emanuel Steward, and there's only one Emanuel Steward, and he was my dearest friend. I feel a sense of enormous and incalculable loss.
"I'm sitting here thinking that I don't know if I have ever had a closer friend, and yet I know that he had dozens, if not, hundreds more like me, because of his generousity, which was so big, and because of his outreach, which was so pure. His loyalty was so precious. Just the finest man you would ever want to meet."
Sugar Ray Leonard
"Besides looking a little smaller and a little thinner, he looked pretty good. But I don't think about those times when I saw him like that. I think about the times that we had together. That was one of the ways that I was able to qualify for the 1976 Olympics is that I went to the Kronk Gym in Detroit.
"That was before Tommy Hearns became a professional. Emanuel took me into his arms and into his gym, and I think that I was there for a couple of weeks in preparation for the trials. Detroit took me in as a child over there. I was like, 20, so this was just prior to the Olympics.
"I was going another route. But, it's been so long, some almost 40 years ago. But we had a bond. Emanuel came to my house before the second Thomas Hearns fight, and, in fact, I think that he was the guy who set that up. Looking back, in retrospect, he was the one who set that up.
"I mean, really, I took him to dinner, and we had a few bottles of wine, and then, some way, somehow, that fight came to fruition. Good for Manny."
"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 favor and see him through his biggest fight.
Tom Loeffler, K2 Promotions
"Thomas Hearns had a different style, and everything like that. It's hard to express it in words. It's still kind of a shock to everyone. Emanuel was the spiritual leader of the team, with his wisdom and his experience.
"That's what guided [Wladimir Klitschko] and made him the champion that he is today. He will certainly be missed by boxing fans all over the world. Wladimir has not come out with it yet, but I'm pretty sure that he'll dedicate his next fight to Emanuel."
"Emanuel Steward passing today is the biggest loss to boxing in long time. He'll be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Photo by K2 Management
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com