By Rick Reeno
Last month, Yuri Foreman's manager, Murray Wilson, was under the impression he had reached a deal with trainer Emanuel Steward. Foreman's team was planning to use Steward in training camp to prepare for the upcoming fight with Miguel Cotto on June 5 in New York's Yankee Stadium. Steward was going to join Foreman's camp for two or three weeks in the role of a consultant. The training goal was to use Steward's knowledge to increase Foreman's offensive abilities.
In the last few days, rumors have surfaced that Cotto's team made a strong financial offer to Steward, and the veteran trainer was close to joining the other side. Foreman's manager heard the same rumors and spoke to Steward on Thursday. After being very confident about Steward's willingness to join their team, Murray is no longer that confident. Murray believes Cotto's team offered Steward the position of head trainer, and a percentage of the fighter's purse. Cotto's previous trainer, Joe Santiago, will play the role of the assistant if Steward decides to come on. Team Foreman is only offering Steward a flat-fee for his services.
"It's really up in the air, which surprises me because I thought we had a concrete deal. I spoke to Manny and he heard some of the guys with Yuri were getting really upset that he was coming in, and that's not true at all. As recent as the Klitschko fight [with Eddie Chambers], he said 'I can't wait to see you in New York.' Who knows at this point. You can't read another guy's mind," Murray told BoxingScene.com.
If Steward decides to go with Cotto, Murray is not worried. Foreman is trained by Joe Grier, who Murray views as one of the best trainers in the business. Murray plans to sort out the situation with Steward before the week is out.
"He was only coming in for two to three weeks. It's not life and death, but I still want use Manny in camp. Joe Grier may not be as known, but he is one of the best around, and he treats Yuri like he's his own son. The real fight happens in the ring, not outside of the ring," Murray said.