Promoter Frank Maloney No Fan Of Emanuel Steward, Says The Trainer Is Motivated Only By Money

12.01.09 - by James Slater - Promoter Frank Maloney once guided the career of the great Lennox Lewis, and as such he spent a lot of time around Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, who was brought in as the heavyweight's coach in 1995. During this time, Maloney discovered a few things about Steward that made him lose respect for Manny, and in an interview in yesterday's Sunday Independent newspaper, Maloney spoke both about Steward's flaws as he saw them and the real reason he believes he himself was ousted from the Lewis camp back in late 2001..

The British promoter, who is still going strong with a vast stable of top-notch fighters today, began by explaining how he was let go by Lennox just after the first fight with Hasim Rahman - very much feeling it had a lot to do with the colour of his skin.

"I just think he [Lewis] listened to the wrong person. But I think the real problem was that I was the only white guy in the camp," Maloney said. "Everyone would call him champ and I said, 'he's not, he just got his arse kicked (by Rahman).' I was very blunt and that riled them. And they also needed to find a scape-goat after he got beaten in South Africa.

"I refuse to accept the blame though, because I sent him a letter before he took the fight and said he had to go there for six weeks. I said he was fighting 7,000 feet above sea level. I even took my conditioning team to monitor everything he needed to do, and they backed up everything I said. So the letter went to Lennox, which was then passed on to his business advisor, but he said Lennox was to appear in some cameo role in some film (Ocean's 11) and he said he couldn't come to South Africa until seven days before the fight. Crazy!"

There is little to no doubt, the Rahman disaster in South Africa was Lewis' own fault and his alone. In failing to prepare properly, the defending heavyweight king put himself in terrible jeopardy, and "The Rock" took full advantage. At the end of the day, Lewis always was his own boss. Perhaps Emanuel Steward should have put his foot down and ordered his fighter to get himself to South Africa in adequate time, but of course he never.

Maloney, though he doesn't blame the trainer for the 5th round KO loss his former fighter suffered, is no fan of the Hall of Famer either.

"Everyone knows Emanuel Steward goes where the pound note (or dollar) is," Maloney said in the interview. "Socially, he's one of the greatest guys in the world - but you pay the bill. One time I took him to Lillie's Bordello. He ordered the biggest plate of hors d'oeuvres you have ever seen, four bottles of champagne to impress the ladies. He gets up and says, 'I'm going now, Frank.' and I was left with the bill!

"I lost a lot of respect for Emanuel when he got to train a fighter called Ole Klemetsen, "The Norwegian Viking." He walked into a room full of press and said, 'I want to introduce you to the greatest light-heavyweight in the world!
"Now he wants Lennox to come back because they've a good relationship and he can whore himself to him. He's full of s**t."

Harsh words indeed. It remains to be seen if Steward - if he even saw the article - will deny these claims. However, Emanuel did surprise a lot of people recently when he said he was in favour of a Lewis comeback at age 43. A great trainer he surely is, but Steward has lost an admirer in Frank Maloney.

Article posted on 12.01.2009

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