London-born Jamaican heavyweight Alex Stewart was just 52 years old when he died, this in November of 2016, from a blood clot in his lung. Known as “The Destroyer,” Stewart was in turn, a KO artist, a gutsy warrior who could take it as well as dish it out, a man capable of freezing in the headlights, and a fighter who should have gone further than he did
It was 30 years ago (April 11, 1992) when Stewart perhaps put on his finest fighting performance. Having been stopped by Evander Holyfield in a memorable 1989 slugfest, this being Stewart’s first loss, Stewart had also been bounced around in a round by Mike Tyson, this after Stewart had put on a Michael Spinks impersonation, apparently terrified of Tyson. Stewart had restored some of his fighter’s rep by banging it out with Michael Moorer the following year, yet he had been stopped again.
Now seen as acceptable fodder by the often picky George Foreman, Stewart was about to shock the world. Well, nearly. Certainly, 28-year-old Stewart shocked the hell out of 43-year-old Foreman.
After surviving two knockdowns early (one of them aided by a low blow slung by “Big George”) Stewart proceeded to turn Foreman’s face into an absolutely X-rated sight. Fighting, at last, with zero fear or reluctance, Stewart cracked Foreman with sickening headshots, one on top of the other. Foreman’s face was transformed in a disturbingly swift fashion.
His eyes were beaten shut, his jaw badly swollen, Foreman was also bleeding and, he seemed in such distress that the referee was concerned enough to visit George’s corner to check if he “could breathe ok out there.” Foreman, never short on raw courage, convinced the third man he was capable of going on,
And so Stewart, chopped up himself, carried on stinging Foreman. It was tough to watch, blood and guts everywhere. In the end, Foreman was awarded a majority decision. Stewart told Larry Merchant that “I should have at least got a draw.”
But it was another loss for Stewart, in his final big-fight chance. Stewart fought on, yet further losses awaited him; a stoppage loss to Jorge Luis Gonzalez ending Stewart’s days as a contender.
Working as a liquor salesman for a time after retiring from the ring, Stewart fell out of the public spotlight. Then, sadly and unfairly, Stewart was gone.
Stewart fought the best and, for a while, he lit up the heavyweight division. Just ask George Foreman how dangerous Stewart was capable of being on his best, most motivated, devil may care night.