By Ryan Maquiñana
Super middleweight champion Andre Ward chimed in on the recent passing of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward.
“First of all, it’s a major blow not only to the sport, but it was a major blow for me, because we didn’t have much detail on Manny in terms of how bad he was sick and what was going on,” Ward said in an upcoming video interview for BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com.
“All of a sudden, people started saying that he passed,” he added. “I mean, he’s only 68 years old. That’s not an old man. It’s really shocking to me. It was a sad day.”
Training fighters out of Detroit’s iconic Kronk Gym, Steward carved a path to the Hall of Fame for his work with a multitude of world champions such as Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis, and in recent years, Wladimir Klitschko.
Ward, a budding television commentator for Showtime, last spoke with Steward, who was universally revered for the same role at HBO, during the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight on June 9.
“Manny [Steward]’s always been a good-hearted man,” Ward said. “He’s more than a boxing coach. He’s obviously been a life coach for a lot of the kids that have come up under his tutelage, kids living at his house and different things like that. He’s going to be greatly missed, man, and I’m just sad that he’s gone.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.