History | Jul 07 2014

On This Day: Legendary trainer Emanuel Steward was born on July 7 1944

Matt Christie speaks to Lennox Lewis and pays tribute to one of boxing’s most loved figures

EMANUEL STEWARD should have been 70 today. It’s still hard to believe he’s gone. He deteriorated quickly in October 2012, when death became him. The boxing world he adored was devastated by his unexpected departure.

“What was disturbing for me is I only spoke to him two weeks before he went into hospital,” said Lennox Lewis, one of over 40 world champions Steward taught. “I had no idea he was ill. I don’t know how a man could get sick so fast. I tried to speak to him in hospital but he wasn’t well enough. It was so upsetting to know he was deteriorating like that. I kept close to the situation, and then I was told he’d gone.”

Anyone who knew Emanuel would have wanted to say goodbye, to tell him what a special man he was, and to thank him for his unerring faith in boxing. The sport has not been the same without him and his vast knowledge, without his teddy bear warmth, without his bright sleeveless vests from which his arms would dance.


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