MANILA, Philippines – Former boxing champions Thomas “Hitman” Hearns and Lennox Lewis grieved over the death of legendary coach Emanuel Steward who lost his bout against cancer last Thursday.
Hearns and Lewis, who both trained at Steward’s fabled Kronk Gym in Detroit, credited the boxing coach for their successes in the ring.
Hearns earned his legendary status of becoming the first boxing champion to win four titles in as many divisions.
He said he couldn’t have done it without Steward.
"Emanuel Steward was like the father I never had. To me, that's what he was, because my father was never there for me,” said Hearns in RingTV.
"Emanuel Steward to me, he was a man that changed my life. He helped me to become the man that I've become today," he added.
Lewis, for his part, described Steward as one of sport’s “crown jewels.”
"Manny (Steward) has helped me get through some of the biggest fights in my career and I only regret that I couldn't return the favor and see him through his biggest fight,” said the former heavyweight champion in Boxing Scene.
“Manny always told me I was the best, but the truth is, he was the best and I'm grateful, privileged and honored to be counted among his many historic successes.”
Steward, an inductee of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, trained a total of 41 world champions throughout his colorful career.
Among the world champions who have trained with Steward are Julio César Chávez, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield and Wladimir Klitschko.