Boxing has lost a much loved icon in professional trainer and television commentator Emanuel Steward, reportedly to complications following surgery for Diverticulitis.
It was well covered by the media that Steward was in the hospital and had undergone surgery, but the boxing community is in shock and much grief after the announcement his death, especially as he outwardly appeared to be pleasant, healthy and in good shape.
Who couldn't have loved Manny Steward? He was one of the best trainers in boxing, always head-to-head with Freddie Roach of the Wild Card Gym and, in general, such a friendly and intelligent man.
He was almost like the father or grandfather you always wanted as a kid. The fighters he trained from his Kronk Gym in Detroit have testified to this many times.
I never got the opportunity to cover a fight from Detroit, seeing how far away it is, but it is known that those who got that chance were actually given local tours by Steward. He would talk with strangers for hours in person and online.
I am not an emotional person, pertaining to death, but this truly brought a tear to my eye hearing the death of such a good man and a true inspiration to many people in boxing, worldwide; he had a great career and should be remembered well.
Steward was born in West Virginia and moved to Detroit as a 12-year-old to train as an amateur boxer, winning tournaments and becoming locally renowned.
Rather than going professional himself, he instead sought steady employment and decided to start training fighters from the Kronk Gym in the 1970's.
In the coming years, Kronk grew more and more. Most notably, Steward helped turn Thomas Hearns into a talented puncher in the 1980's, which chain reacted into the raising of boxing stars of the 1990's such as British Heavyweight Lennox Lewis and currently, Ukrainian star and unified Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Additionally, boxers such as Miguel Cotto, Andy Lee and others have made world level with the help of Manny.
As his training career built up, Steward became a fight commentator, most notably for HBO Boxing, and he was one of the more educated and honest commentators to do so, in my opinion.
The bottom line is that no matter where you are in the world, give a moment of silence for one of boxing's true good guys; Manny Steward, may he rest in peace.