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Friday, October 26, 2012
Boxing world mourns Steward

By Dan Rafael

The boxing world continues to mourn the passing of Hall of Fame trainer and HBO broadcaster Emanuel Steward, who died on Thursday at age 68.

There has been an outpouring of good words for a man who was beloved by people in the boxing business as well as by fans around the world, who appreciated his keen observations as a broadcaster as well as his genuine excitement during the fights he called.

Here are just two thoughts from a couple of boxing lifers who knew Steward:

• Ring announcer Michael Buffer, one of Steward’s longtime friends, is heartbroken by his passing. "Twenty-four hours have gone by since the passing of Emanuel Steward. It has been and remains an emotionally painful time dealing with this loss,” Buffer said. “I am still unable to actually speak without choking up. The comments and statements of admiration and respect, honoring and memorializing his life, legacy and career have been honest, beautiful and deserving. He was and shall always be true boxing royalty. But to those of us blessed to have been closer he was so very much more. As a fan and colleague, I mourn the loss of a legend, an icon. As a friend, I have lost a loved one and my heart is broken."

• Trainer Kevin Cunningham, who greatly admired Steward, opposed him as trainer in 2007 when former undisputed welterweight champ and junior middleweight titlist Cory Spinks lost a decision to then-middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, who was being trained by Steward. “The highlight of my career was going up against Manny Steward for Taylor-Spinks,” Cunningham said. “After the fight he told me I was a damn good trainer. That was one of the greatest compliments of my life.”