Emanuel Steward 1944-2012

Boxing History - By James Slater: The tributes have been coming in thick and fast ever since the tragic, sad news broke of boxing guru Emanuel Steward’s untimely passing at the premature age of 68. Having so much more to give his sport, with so much further wisdom ready to be shared with his star pupils, Emanuel, we all thought, would be around for years and years to come.By James Slater: The tributes have been coming in thick and fast ever since the tragic, sad news broke of boxing guru Emanuel Steward’s untimely passing at the premature age of 68. Having so much more to give his sport, with so much further wisdom ready to be shared with his star pupils, Emanuel, we all thought, would be around for years and years to come.

The top scribes of boxing have each composed heartfelt tributes to Emanuel – a man they have all correctly written was a genius who had such an easygoing way about him he was able to make everyone who interacted with him feel like a friend – and what more can be said of the man who lived and breathed boxing?

I was fortunate enough to have been able to speak with the great Emanuel Steward on a couple of occasions, and here are some of the hugely interesting things he was kind enough to share with me: –

Emanuel on the best fighters he ever worked with:

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Emanuel Steward, The People’s Champion

Boxing History - (July 7, 1944 to October 25, 2012)(July 7, 1944 to October 25, 2012)

Written by Damian McCann

Legendary boxing icon, Emanuel Steward passed away peacefully with his loving family present last Thursday at the age of 68.

During his lifetime he amassed a vast wealth of experience and knowledge of the sweet science. He had many roles in the sport as a commentator, manager and promoter, but it will be as a trainer that he will be most remembered in the history of boxing.

As an amateur star he compiled a distinguished record of 97 fights with only 3 losses including winning the 1963 National Golden Gloves Bantamweight Championship in Chicago. He was inducted into both the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles and the International Hall of Fame in New York in 1996 in recognition of his achievements and contribution to boxing.

But he also leaves a legacy as one of the most respected and loved people in the sport; boxing fans around the world loved him and he loved them. No matter how busy or gruelling a schedule he had he always had time for a handshake, a photograph and a conversation.

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The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 1: An Irreplaceable Ambassador of Boxing

Boxing History - by Geoffrey Ciani - The sport of boxing lost a remarkable individual when Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward passed away yesterday at the age of 68. Steward of course was an outstanding world class trainer, a tremendous commentator and analyst, and an overall great ambassador for the sport that he loved. But with Emanuel, his total contributions to boxing were far greater than the sum of its parts. His passion and enthusiasm endeared fans, boxers, and fellow trainers alike. He possessed a very unique gift that enabled him to enhance the entire boxing experience for a whole community dedicated to the sweet science in varying capacities.

by Geoffrey Ciani – The sport of boxing lost a remarkable individual when Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward passed away yesterday at the age of 68. Steward of course was an outstanding world class trainer, a tremendous commentator and analyst, and an overall great ambassador for the sport that he loved. But with Emanuel, his total contributions to boxing were far greater than the sum of its parts. His passion and enthusiasm endeared fans, boxers, and fellow trainers alike. He possessed a very unique gift that enabled him to enhance the entire boxing experience for a whole community dedicated to the sweet science in varying capacities.

With his vast wealth of knowledge, experience, and a proven track record of success, Emanuel Steward was undoubtedly one of the greatest trainers the sport of boxing has ever seen. In fact, he trained and/or managed 41 world champions during his illustrious career, and this included two of the longest reigning heavyweight champions in history: Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. His long celebrated success was largely the result of his incredible boxing mind. Steward was simply masterful when it came to developing a sound fight plan that would give his boxers their best chance at victory. He also had an exceptional ability when it came to fine-tuning the existing strengths of a given fighter. This was important. Emanuel never tried to implement a complete stylistic overhaul. Instead he worked with what he had in front of him and always stressed the importance of fundamental basics, which included good balance and working behind a solid jab. This was essential to his philosophical outlook as a trainer.

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Where does Juan Manuel Marquez rank in the history of Mexican boxing?

Boxing History - By Emilio Camacho, Esq. Mexico has an  impressive imprint in boxing history. The current most dominant Mexican boxer is Juan Manuel Marquez. Several of you have emailed me asking where does Marquez stand in history.By Emilio Camacho, Esq. Mexico has an impressive imprint in boxing history. The current most dominant Mexican boxer is Juan Manuel Marquez. Several of you have emailed me asking where does Marquez stand in history.

Experts will argue that Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Salvador Sanchez rank above Marquez. This is not hard to justify. In addition, I believe that Ricardo “Finito” Lopez should be ranked above Marquez. Lopez was the most dominant force in Mexican boxing and retired undefeated. However, Chavez and Sanchez arguably had the better opposition.

What is important to think about is not how Marquez ranks in all-time Mexican boxing history but rather how he ranks in his own era. This is because there are two other fighters, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, who dominated that era for a long time, and actually overshadowed Marquez for many years while all three had active boxing careers. This is significant because it is rare to have great talent at the same time, though it has certainly happened before (Ali, Frazier, Foreman as well as Leonard, Duran, and Hagler are some examples).

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Arturo “Thunder” Gatti: Hall Of Fame-Worthy Or Not!?

Boxing History - By James Slater: Sadly, as we all know, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti passed away in July of 2009 (with still no definitive answer as to what happened that tragic day in Brazil), but had he lived, Gatti would soon be very interested in seeing whether or not the boxing writers of the day deem him worthy of being enshrined in The Hall of Fame in Canastota.By James Slater: Sadly, as we all know, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti passed away in July of 2009 (with still no definitive answer as to what happened that tragic day in Brazil), but had he lived, Gatti would soon be very interested in seeing whether or not the boxing writers of the day deem him worthy of being enshrined in The Hall of Fame in Canastota.

Gatti, who retired with a 40-9(31) ledger, is on the 2013 inductions ballot; leaving it to today’s influential and highly respected experts to either vote him in or decline to do so. One such expert, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael, has said it will be a tough call indeed. For while Gatti lost nine times, being stopped on 5 occasions, “The Human Highlight Real” lit up the sport like few other pugilists (the nickname really says it all). Some argue how Gatti is THE most exciting warrior of modern times, if not in all of boxing!

Sure, that’s some praise, but maybe Gatti is deserving of it. Maybe Gatti is also deserving of being voted into IBHOF hands down. And it sure will be tough for anyone who ever saw Gatti thrill to forget the thrills this amazing warrior with a ton of heart and limitless bite-down courage and guts provided his sport with.

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Reggie Johnson Interview

Boxing History - By Michael R. Cumberbatch -- Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Catching up With” — a feature series focusing on former champions. In this edition, I had the privilege to talk to Reggie Johnson, a former three time champion who fought at the middleweight and light-heavy weight divisions.  I found Reggie to be quite engaging, extremely intelligent, and passionate about boxing and life.By Michael R. Cumberbatch — Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Catching up With” — a feature series focusing on former champions. In this edition, I had the privilege to talk to Reggie Johnson, a former three time champion who fought at the middleweight and light-heavy weight divisions. I found Reggie to be quite engaging, extremely intelligent, and passionate about boxing and life.

MRC: Reggie, earlier this year you talked about fighting again. At age 46 is that still a possibility?

RJ: First Michael, let me thank you for this interview and platform to be heard. My return to the ring is in progress and in early 2013 I will announce when, where, and who I will be fighting.

MRC: You’ve also talked about the Boxing Hall of Fame. If you were given the opportunity to state your case for becoming a member, what would you say?

RJ: I was blessed to visit the IBHOF in 2005, 2006, and this year, 2012. If any man is not inspired by that experience as a fighter, trainer, manager, promoter, etc… to take their chosen profession higher, they are working in the wrong field. I read a blog years ago that featured me …… titled “Reggie Johnson wants to be in the Hall of Fame.”

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Corrie Sanders – Days of Glory: A Sniper is Laid To Rest

By Phenyo Molefe: Corrie Sanders’ life was celebrated as more than a thousand friends, family and sports personalities from various disciplines gathered on Monday to bid him farewell in a ceremony held in Pretoria, South Africa.

Just over a week ago one of boxing’s own sons sustained fatal gunshot wounds while attempting to shield his daughter from harm. Speculation has flared an investigation into claims his death could have been averted had he not been turned away from first hospital he was sent to. His murderers made their first court appearance earlier this week and remain incarcerated. The coming weeks or months may give us greater detail pertaining to events leading to his death however the details pertaining to his boxing career remain clear to us.

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Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders…shot dead at age 47

Boxing History - It’s been confirmed that former WBO Heavyweight Champion Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders has died this morning after being shot in the stomach at the “Thatch Haven Restaurant” just outside of Pretoria, South Africa.

It’s been confirmed that former WBO Heavyweight Champion Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders has died this morning after being shot in the stomach at the “Thatch Haven Restaurant” just outside of Pretoria, South Africa.

The 47 year old southpaw was attending his nephew’s 21 st Birthday party when three unknown assailants entered the restaurant and robbed several customers before opening fire in and outside of the establishment.

The proprietor of the establishment, Johan de Jager, described what transpired yesterday evening at 8PM SAST (South Africa Standard Time), which is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

“Three guys came inside and just started shooting. Unfortunately during the shooting, they shot Corrie.”

The hard punching Heavyweight was rushed to Kalafong Hospital for emergency surgery but died at 4AM SAST this morning due to complications associated with the injury.

Former trainer Harold Volbrecht was understandably emotional when news of his fighter’s passing had been publicized

“This is very sad. My heart is broken. It’s just terrible. I can’t believe this has happened.”

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20 Years Ago Next Month, UK’s ‘Dark Destroyer’ Nigel Benn Wins WBC Crown

Boxing History - By Rick Murray - Doesn't time fly. It was early October 1992, and Nigel Benn -long-time labelled on both sides of the Atlantic as boxing's most exciting fighter- is preparing to face awkward, cagey Italian spoiler and WBC 168lb. ruler Mauro 'Rocky' Galvano. Known for his smothering, ring movement, clinching and countering, as well as being a former light-heavyweight (Benn was a former middleweight), Galvano started as the betting favourite and pre-fight tip by all pundits.By Rick Murray – Doesn’t time fly. It was early October 1992, and Nigel Benn -long-time labelled on both sides of the Atlantic as boxing’s most exciting fighter- is preparing to face awkward, cagey Italian spoiler and WBC 168lb. ruler Mauro ‘Rocky’ Galvano. Known for his smothering, ring movement, clinching and countering, as well as being a former light-heavyweight (Benn was a former middleweight), Galvano started as the betting favourite and pre-fight tip by all pundits.

Benn, known for his aggressive power-punching and bob-and-weave style, ripped up the odds sheets and tore into the Champ relentlessly for four rounds, cutting off the ring and landing body shots and right hands. Tough man Mauro was breathing heavily and bleeding profusely and the fight was halted. New WBC King, Nigel Benn -who would hold the crown for a further 10 (often-exhilarating) defenses.

Benn switched over in January 1987 after beating every man he faced in the amateur ranks as an Army boxer and ABA competitor. This included future pro prospect Rod Douglas -ranked in the top-five in the World amateurs- and other very good amateur stand-outs in Mark Edwards, Roy Andre and Johnny Melfah. He had 24 knockouts in 28 fights for the West Ham ABC in 1985 and 1986, and in the early eighties won every tournament he entered in the Army ranks.

Read more20 Years Ago Next Month, UK’s ‘Dark Destroyer’ Nigel Benn Wins WBC Crown

Foreman Vs. Tyson: The Heavyweight Explosion Of Heavyweight Explosions!

Boxing History - By James Slater:By James Slater:

“Boxing is the theatre of the unexpected,” Larry Merchant

“Fighting Tyson Would be Like Bird hunting for me; a bird’s nest on the ground,” George Foreman

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard Mike Tyson talk about potential 1990’s rival and fellow former heavyweight king George Foreman. Never once. Maybe, just maybe, this is because at no time did “Iron Mike” want anything to do with the old warrior he is famously alleged to have referred to as “that animal” when telling Don King what he could do with his lucrative idea of fighting Foreman. Maybe not.

Still, to me, and millions of other fight fans, Foreman-Tyson, Tyson-Foreman is the ultimate Dream Fight; one that was tantalizingly close in 1990. The two greats fought on the same bill in June of 1990 – Foreman taking out Adilson Rodrigues in quick time, Tyson rubbing out Henry Tillman ever faster – and the idea being floated around then was for the two to engage in another double-header that September (Tyson Vs. Alex Stewart, Foreman Vs. Francesco Damiani) and then meet in a blockbuster in December.

Read moreForeman Vs. Tyson: The Heavyweight Explosion Of Heavyweight Explosions!