Emanuel Steward, the Godfather of Detroit boxing, is dead at 68
Reports that Emanuel Steward dies were circulating on Thursday, with word from friends that the 68-year-old Detroit boxing icon had passed away.
Those reports were not confirmed by Emanuel Steward’s family, and in fact a conflicting report from a family representative from earlier had said the Steward was still alive, WXYZ-TV reported.
Steward’s death was later widely reported and confirmed by friends and heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko, whom Steward trained, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“Boxing has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Emanuel Steward,” Klitschko said in a statement.
The trainer made a large mark on the world of boxing, having trained a number of fighters, guiding Thomas Hearns, Hilmer Kenty, and Milton McCrory to world titles in the 1980s.
Emanuel Steward was taken to the hospital in September and underwent surgery for diverticulitis, a stomach disorder. His health continued to decline, and on September 23 a prayer vigil was held in Walled Lake for Steward.
“The boxing world has lost one of its most valuable and honorable assets with the loss of Emanuel Steward,” said Palace fight promoter Joseph Donofrio. “He was not only my mentor in the world of promotions but also to thousands of others here in Detroit and his extended reach throughout the world.”
News that Emanuel Steward dies made its way through the boxing world on Thursday, with a number of boxing officials fighters, and television executives — paying their respect.
“Emanuel was Mr. Boxing in Detroit,” said Frank Garza, a leading Michigan fight referee and close friend after the news that Emanuel Steward dies reached him. “He was like Gordie Howe is to Detroit hockey and Al Kaline to Detroit baseball.”