Manny Steward Was Something Special

2-8-06 Emanuel Steward 01Emanuel Steward, as was the case with fellow corner legend Angelo Dundee, was among the most generous and giving of boxing figures. He provided his time and expertise to any boxing writer who sought to tap into his deep reservoir of expertise, even those whose professional duties sometimes called for them to take publicly take adversarial positions when it came to reporting on Manny's fighters.

Manny understood that we had a job to do, just as he did, and that today's momentary friction could and should take a backseat to the friendship of yesterday and tomorrow. Besides, Manny liked us nearly as much as we liked him. He told us what he truly thought, and he did that, too, as a color commentator, which is why the viewing public also held him in high esteem.

Boxing — and life in general — is not so well-stocked with good guys that we can afford to lose anyone as genuine and as naturally ebullient as the impresario of Detroit's famed Kronk Gym. It wasn't that Manny lacked ego — he had one, to be sure — but being confident in your own abilities isn't the same as being, well, obnoxious about it.

Manny didn't wear his awareness of his talents on his sleeve, maybe because he didn't have to. He preferred to be who and what he really was, a nice guy whose humanity and love of boxing helped him evolve into something special.

Like Angelo Dundee and Bert Sugar, who in the recent past preceded him on the other side of the great divide, he left a legacy of smiles and warm memories. Would that each of us can say the same when our time comes.

Comment on this article


-amayseng :

I will always remember how humble, soft spoken and enjoyable Emanuel was to listen to commentate. Whatever he said I always believed while watching a fight, he was just that knowledgeable I never doubted him. I will never forget how He always had a smile on his face as they recapped the previous nights fights. I just learned this week Emanuel and I were born and grew up 80 mins apart in WV. Had no idea. Boxing is unlike other sports, it is so powerful it's fans are so passionate we feel like we lost a friend without ever meeting guys like Emanuel when they are in front of us for so long. I'm 34 and I don't remember a time when Emanuel was not around.

-brownsugar :

Great Comments Amayseng, .....other than his last commentating assignment, Manny gave the impression he'd be around longer than those 2 money-mongering old-timers Arum and King... but unfortunately it seems like the good always die (relatively)young. Even when he was blatently contradicted by his fellow announcers,.. Stewart took it in stride and never pulled rank... always finding a way to balance the information about the fight we were watching with some "Real" astute observations without being rude and contentious. The guy could have went about draped in gold with an entourage... became a "celebrity" by definition and a character for publicity companies like TMZ to send a 100 paparazzi after... but he had better things to do with himself and we are all better enriched. Wow a trainer of 41 champions, a trainer who started in his teens... this is better stuff than a Rocky movie... and it was real.