By Craig Miller-
(CBS) Too often the sport of boxing caters to the loudest member of the group, promoting fighters who are obsessed with themselves despite the fact that their achievements in and out of the ring leave something to be desired.
Emanuel Steward was not one of those people. Steward was an inductee of the International Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, and has trained 41 world champions throughout his career. Some of the more notable fighters Steward has trained include Wladimir Klitschko, Lennox Lewis, and Tommy Hearns. He also helped guide the sport in a positive direction in the post Muhammad Ali era and Kronk Gym, which Emanuel owned, was where Emanuel Steward turned many fighters into world champions.
Steward was also the lead analyst for HBO Boxing but he never forgot about his humble beginnings and he would often give money out of his own pocket to down and out fighters. It says a whole lot about the man that he didn’t have one enemy in a sport where making enemies can be easier than making a fight.
After Emanuel Steward passed away on Oct. 25, 2012 the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit was shut down and now Steward’s nephew, Sugar Hill is planning to rebuild the famous gym sometime this year. Hill, a former Detroit Police officer, remembers going to the gym with Emanuel as early as 4 or 5 years old. Steward was a father figure to Hill and taught him nearly everything he knows about boxing. Hill recalls what it was like being in the corner with Emanuel Steward, what attributes make a good trainer, and how his career as a police officer on the streets of Detroit helped prepare him to be a better corner man.
One of the more promising fighters Sugar Hill trains is Johnathon Banks who is one of the premiere boxers in the Heavyweight division. Emanuel Steward was also a father figure to Banks. He had one of the most hectic months of his life when he had to bury Emanuel Steward, and then step in to train Wladimir Klitschko, and then he had to fight Seth Mitchell, a fight in which he won by TKO. Banks talks about why he thinks the Kronk gym was closed down as soon as Emanuel Stewart passed away, His relationship with Emanuel, and the injury that is causing him to delay his rematch with Seth Mitchell.
In addition to acting as a producer for The Mully and Hanley Show, heard Monday-Friday from 5am-9am on 670 The Score, Craig covers boxing for 670TheScore.com. You can read more of his work here. You can follow him on twitter @CraigMiller670.