Emanuel Steward was one of the greatest boxing trainers in the rich history of professional boxing, and he was also one of the sport’s greatest ambassadors.
Steward was an accomplished amateur boxer who compiled a successful record that culminated when he won a National Golden Gloves tournament as a bantamweight in 1963. Following his amateur career Steward was away from boxing from 1964-1969. During that time away from the sport, Steward worked as an electrician for Detroit Edison with no plans of ever returning.
Steward ultimately did return to boxing in his best known capacity as a trainer at Kronk Gym, where he had a highly decorated career. Steward’s first champion was On March 2, 1980, at new Joe Louis Arena, Steward-trained Hilmer Kenty won the WBA lightweight championship when he defeated Ernesto Espana. This was Steward’s first world champion, but it would certainly not be his last. In total, Steward trained 28 world champions during his time as a boxing trainer. He is best known for training Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis, and Wladimir Klitschko. In addition to his outstanding career as a world class trainer, Steward was also an exceptional commentator who called the HBO fights with exceptional ability to provide valuable insight to the viewing audience when it came to breaking down the sweet science in ways that were easy to follow and understand. Steward worked in that capacity from 2001 until he sadly passed away in 2012.
Steward had an especially good track record at heavyweight. In addition to training all time greats in Lewis and Klitschko, both of whom had long and illustrious dominant reigns as champion, he also trained Oliver McCall when he scored his dramatic upset knockout against Lewis (prior to the two teaming up), and he also guided Evander Holyfield to victory when he became the only man to defeat Riddick Bowe. Not only has Steward had great success in heavyweight championship contests, but he was also an avid fan of boxing history and one of the most prominent boxing historians to ever analyze the rich history of heavyweight boxing. With his deep knowledge of heavyweight history and his first hand experience in being part of that history, Steward’s perspective is historically unique.
On March 30, 2010, Steward was interviewed by Geoffrey Ciani (aka – Rummy) about the history of boxing’s marquee weight class, the heavyweight division. With the recent 10 year anniversary of this interview having just passed, that interview was just recently transformed into an historical boxing documentary. The original audio for this interview has been completely remastered for this video by Ryan MacNamara. For those interested in hearing what Emanuel Steward had to say about many heavyweight legends of the past – including, but not limited to, Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Rocky Marciano just to name a few – please watch and enjoy the video.