Emanuel Steward, one of professional boxing’s most legendary trainers, died early this morning, according to TMZ.
Reports indicate that Steward, an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall Of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, had recently been hospitalized for a stomach disorder known as diverticulitis. The disorder is a common digestive disease that is often found in the large intestine.
Steward was one of boxing’s most celebrated trainers, associated with champion athletes such as Lennox Lewis, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir Klitschko and many more.
Klitschko has released a statement saying, “Boxing has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Emanuel Steward.”
Palace fight promoter Joseph Donofrio also commented on Steward’s death, saying that the boxing world has lost one of its most valuable and honorable assets with the loss of Emanuel Steward. He was not only my mentor in the world of promotions but also to thousands of others here in Detroit, and his reach extended throughout the world.”
Steward, who worked for years as an HBO color boxing commentator, was instrumental in charity work around Detroit, establishing the Kronk Gym Foundation to help endangered young boys and girls get an education and shot at a normal life.
“Emanuel was Mr. Boxing in Detroit,” Frank Garza, a leading Michigan fight referee and close friend of Steward’s told DFP. “He was like Gordie Howe is to Detroit hockey and Al Kaline to Detroit baseball.
“He loved to live, and he loved to give. He was a down-to-earth guy when you were with him. As a trainer, he was a brilliant strategist. If you ever wanted to win a fight, you just listened to his advice.”
Steward was 68 years old.