The boxing world has lost an iconic figure and respected authority. Legendary trainer and commentator Emanuel Steward has passed away at the age of 68, per Tom Leyden via Twitter:
Just got off the phone with Emanuel Steward's sister, Diane, who confirmed the death of her brother, age 68.Details to follow.— Tom Leyden (@TomLeyden) October 25, 2012
According to Leyden, the cause of death was reportedly diverticulosis, which is a digestive disease found in the large intestine.
Steward was most recently known for his work with the premier heavyweights in the world, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, and as an analyst for HBO Boxing. Simply put, he's irreplaceable as a member of the broadcast team, and as an overall presence in the sport.
Steward's involvement and impact on boxing dates back more than 45 years.
He was a successful amateur boxer before becoming a legendary trainer. He cultivated the careers of legends like Thomas Hearns and Lennox Lewis. Other stars, such as Oscar De La Hoya, Wilfred Benitez, Miguel Cotto, Naseem Hamed and Milton McCrory, have been trained by Steward during their careers.
Steward's Kronk Gym in Detroit, Mich., became a symbol of boxing excellence in the 1980s. Per the Houston Chronicle, the gym, which has produced more than 30 world champions, was pondering moving the facility to a suburb of Detroit.
"It's not an inner-city crowd anymore. It's a lot of suburban kids," Steward said.
In any case, the direction and spirit of the gym would be driven by Steward's undying passion for the sport. We can only hope that an heir to his virtual boxing throne continues on in Steward's spirit.
My prayers and condolences are with Steward's family and close friends. The boxing world will never be the same without him.
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Lead image courtesy of inquisitr.com.