The GOAT Boxing Training: Emanuel Steward

By Bob Trieger | Nov. 21, 2018, 12:59 a.m. (ET)
The late Emanuel Stewart, arguably the greatest boxing trainer of all-time, is a member of the Class of 2018 getting inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
 
The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held December 7, at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Steward was a boxer, trainer extraordinaire, and HBO commentator until his untimely death in 2012 at the age of 68. His boxing career culminated with his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.  

At the age of 12, Manny moved with his mother from West Virginia to Detroit, where his life soon turned to boxing. As an amateur boxer, he compiled a 94-3 record, highlighted by a gold-medal performance at the 1963 National Golden Gloves Tournament as a bantamweight, but he decided against trying out for the US Olympic Boxing Team.
 
In 1971, Steward became a part-time trainer at Kronk Gym, where he eventually guided many of the country's top amateur boxers. Kronk Gym later became a property of Steward's and he developed it into one of the most successful and famous boxing gyms in the world.

Steward also served as National Director of Coaching for USA Boxing in the early 2000's.

Throughout his incredible career, Steward reportedly trained 41 world champions, perhaps, the most noteworthy were Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. He also trained Julio Cesar ChavezMiguel CottoOscar de la HoyaNaseem HamedEvander Holyfield, and Mike McCallum. Manny also trained a young Detroit rapper, Eminem, how to box at Kronk Gym.
 
The last world champion Manny trained was Adonis "Superman" Stevenson, who remains the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) World light heavyweight champion since 2013.
 
"Emanuel would always say, knockouts sell!" Stevenson fondly remembered. "He was also the first to tell me, 'You will be a superstar and a world champion. Just make sure you don't listen to people with bad intentions because you've got natural talent.' He believed in me even if some people did not think I would ever become a world champion."

"Emanuel Steward impacted the lives of so many who walked through the doors of Kronk Gym," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "While he's most recognized for his achievement at the professional level, his impact was significant in the amateurs. Manny serves as a model coach for USA Boxing today, and his impact will be felt for a long time. The USA Boxing Alumni Association overwhelmingly supports his induction and looks forward to honoring him as part of this year's Hall of Fame class."

"For years he would come to my National Silver Gloves Tournament that I sponsored and put on in Kansa City just to show his support of the youth program," added USA Boxing president John Brown added. "Every year I would tell him to let me know if he was coming, so I could VIP him, and every year he would ignore me and just quietly show up. I would notice him in the crowd.  I would ball him out and then we did the same thing the following year.
 
"I also used to see him at big fights and he would always make me feel special by saying my company saved boxing in the seventies and eighties by providing safe, well-made, fair priced boxing equipment for the sport.  No one else ever gave me that recognition. He was humble and not a blowhard, my kind of guy."
 
Emanuel Steward left his mark on earth, not only as a multi-faceted personality in boxing, but he's also remembered for his magnanimous charity work in Detroit, in which he helped youths in their pursuit of education.
 
In short, though, he taught boxing, and nobody has ever done it any better.