As previously reported, within 24 hours of Hall of Fame boxing trainer Emanuel Steward's death, his legendary Detroit boxing gym had lost its sign. The red-and-gold Kronk Gym sign at the gym was removed Friday at the request of Steward's sister, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday. Steward, 68, died last Thursday in a Chicago hospital.
Diane Steward-Jones told the newspaper that she was taking things out of the gym, including the boxing ring and historic fight photos and posters, to "safeguard the legacy" of her brother.
"There are people in the gym — scavengers — who would try and take everything out of my brother's gym," she told the newspaper. "I've alerted the police. People are not going to rape and ravage that place. There will be nothing left. The ring is even being removed."
She also said she was considering locking the gym, a move that would leave dozens of fighters without a place to train.
"Emanuel was counting on me to protect his stuff from less than honest people, and I'm going to do it," she said.
Steward established the Kronk program in 1971. The gym's first professional champion, Hilmer Kenty, won the WBA title in 1978. But Tommy "Hitman" Hearns really put Kronk and Steward on the map, winning five titles with a 61-5-1 record as a pro.
Hearns was at the gym Friday, sitting on the ring that Steward's sister intends to take out of the building. The original Kronk location closed in 2006. It has been at the location near Southfield Road since then. It's been operating on a month-to-month basis.
Longtime Kronk trainer Keith Lee told the newspaper late Friday afternoon that the "doors have been locked and the alarm set."