Emanuel Steward, I miss him already. Browsing the internet in search for a fresh interview with Steward will no longer yield any results. There is no more Wladimir Klitschko and Emanuel Steward. HBO is left in the dark without Steward holding the microphone and smiling at the camera while being the only voice of reason. Kronk will never disappear, but it has lost what made it so effective, and that is its father Emanuel Steward.
It is difficult to try to accept this reality, and the loss that we all have suffered is yet to be fully felt and understood. There have been dozens of goodbye statements from various current and former world champions, promoters, as well as millions of boxing fans around the globe.
Everyone has their time to go, but it feels as though Steward’s time was rushed. He didn’t seem ready to leave boxing, and boxing was certainly not ready to lose him.
I can remember the times when had the true pleasure of interviewing Steward, or simple being in his company. I don’t recall him ever being rude, always wearing his smile and having a warm attitude towards everyone around him.
Humble and understanding, Steward knew that to me a few minutes of his time meant a lot more than they did to himself, thus whenever I happened to approach him for an interview or just a chat, he always obliged.
I remember one time he was having a conversation with either a friend or possibly another reporter, and I was patiently standing on the side waiting for my turn. The conversation seemed to keep steady, and I was beginning to think that I may be wasting my time. All of a sudden, Steward looked at me, and said a polite “hello” with a smile. “May I help you with anything?” he asked me. I mentioned that I was looking forward to interviewing him, but that I did not want to interrupt.
Steward then came up to me and said something along these lines: “We will be chatting for a while, so why don’t I give you some attention so that you can get this out of the way and not stand here waiting.” It took me an unreasonable amount of time to digest what had just occurred, and then I quickly got to the questions. After I was done, we both thanked each other, shook hands, and he said: “Enjoy your night, should be a good one.”
I will miss this world class boxing trainer, this unparalleled human being, and most importantly the self confidence and respect that this kind of a person showed me, a simple boxing reporter. He must have gotten approached by dozens of us a day, yet I am confident that all of us got his time and attention.
Thank you Emanuel Steward for everything that you have done, is doing, and will forever have an impact on in the world of boxing.
One of my interviews with Steward: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Oy7K8QlVI
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