The Wizard Man: The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Continues | Biden News


The great Emanuel Steward died 10 years ago this week, but his presence and influence can still be felt in the sport, says former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee.

Even though it’s been 10 years since Emanuel Steward’s death they’ve moved so fast – I’m still sad that he’s gone. All great memories evoke a range of emotions – I’m grateful to have them, and I still get a lump in my throat.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with him – and at the end of his life. I bring it up all the time, and I always think about it – I always go back to, “What would Emanuel do?” As a mentor, coach, mentor and commentator, I was guided by a complete person. Even under Adam Booth, when I was changing my style and away from Kronk’s, when I was in a difficult situation, I would always go back to what Emanuel would tell me to do.

Just being around him is an education. It’s boxing, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I stayed with him in his house – our bedrooms were on the opposite side of the hallway. The manager of SugarHill was there; Jonathan Banks; Aaron Pryor Jnr; And everyone is calling him from all over the world. It could be Don King or Bob Arum – those phone calls are always happening, and he’ll fill you in on what’s going on in the ring, in the gym and in the sport. If he is here now he can contact Wladimir Klitschko, and well on what is happening there in Ukraine.

He was preparing his warriors. When he’s talking to you directly or talking to the media in your ear, he’s preparing you and thinking. He said it himself – you have to be a psychologist and a physical trainer – you have to know the fighters. He prefers to spend a lot of time with his from the gym to get to know them, their families and their history; to see how they lived, and to hear what kind of people they are.

Outside of my parents, Emanuel was the biggest influence in my life. In a sense, myself, Johnathon and Tony Harrison became equal to him; SugarHill is even more than that. We all learned different things from him, and I think he would be proud of us. He will be proud of SugarHill and how he changed Tyson Fury – he really wanted to train Tyson – which is similar to how Emanuel changed Wladimir.

There is a picture on the wall in the living room of his house – he is a young man with three children, aged eight or nine. Two of them grew up to become world champions, and one of them won an Olympic gold medal. They are Tommy Hearns, Stevie and Milton McCrory. Emanuel’s wife Marie and daughter Sylvia are doing a great job building the new Kronk legacy and supporting young children in Detroit today. It’s a tough city, but a perfect breeding ground for warriors.

Emanuel could spot talent a mile away. I can remember him saying, when Dmitry Salita was fighting her, to SugarHill, “Stay close to Dmitry, he’s going to be a great boxer one day.” He saw how it would be – the things he said all those years ago still ring true today. Also, there is a bit of mystery about him – Samuel Peter used to call him “Wizard Man”. He was born on 7/7; there are seven letters in his first name; seven letters in his second name. He was into numerology. There is something magical about Emanuel; there is something about him that you just can’t put your finger on.

He changed the course of my life, from being a good fan in County Limerick, Ireland – a dark family – to Detroit to train with “The Hitman” and all these great fighters, then to travel the world with him and train in addition to Wladimir, Jermain Taylor, Chad Dawson, Miguel Cotto, Kermit Cintron, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage and others. I am in my dream, and it is because of Emanuel.

These great people come together once in their life. He was a great character – a true class act – enjoying talking to the homeless on the street as much as he did to top lawyers, advertisers and politicians. He was one of the kindest people – with his time and money – I ever met in my life, and his name, legacy and legend grew.


Source link