Emanuel Steward: Greatness Lost

Have you ever heard of Emanuel Steward? What about the Kronk Gym? How about Oscar De La Hoya, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, Evander Holyfield? Well you should, because Emanuel Steward was the Hall of Fame trainer that helped these Champions...win! Of course, these great men brought all their energy and drive to the ring, but Mr. Steward helped bring it all together and win World Class matches. And the Kronk Gym is only 1.5 miles away from campus, on Warren near Evergreen.
Unfortunately, Emanuel Steward, 68, passed away in Chicago on Oct. 25, 2012. The Boxing World and Detroit has lost a man whose considerable ability earned him a place in both the International and World Boxing Hall of Fame. The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and USA Today have all ran stories about how Emanuel has contributed to the world of boxing.
Master of Ceremonies and Ring Announcer Pete Trevino said, “Emanuel was a possibly the best trainer and greatest man in the history of boxing!” Mr. Trevino has occasionally worked with Emanuel over the years and seen how he (Steward) touched everyone with his kindness and direction.
I met Emanuel while photographing boxing matches in downtown Detroit in 2010. I was taken aback by how he interacted with the young fighters. I could tell they looked up to and respected him. He seemed to understand and appreciate the amateur boxers, probably because he had to earn for himself since he was young.
Today’s youth, especially those of you in college, can learn a great deal from men like Emanuel Stewart. He had heart and character – words that seem to have no meaning today. He was focused and determined – qualities that seem to be lacking in young people today as well – but these traits are what one needs to achieve greatness. Whatever your goals, and whatever your desires, obstacles will attempt to distract you. You cannot let that happen. Look to men who have stayed the distance. They were focused, persistent and accomplished what they set out to do. And so can you!
Funeral services for Mr. Steward will be on Nov. 13, 2012 at the Greater Grace Temple (23500 W. 7 Mile, Detroit). Family hour is at 11 am and the funeral is at 12 pm.