Fighters and friends of Hall of Fame boxing trainer and HBO analyst Emanuel Steward have reported that he has passed away at the age of 68, but the family has not yet released an official statement.
- Johnathon Banks, who has replaced Steward in Wladimir Klitschko's corner for his upcoming fight, originally tweeted the information at 4:45 am ET this morning.
- Others in the camp, including Richard Towers, retweeted that news. A short while ago, the official Klitschko Facebook page changed their profile photo to an all-black image, and their cover photo to a black-and-white shot of Emanuel Steward and Wladimir Klitschko. Wladimir also put up an official statement, which was then deleted, and the photos were changed back.
- Eddie Chambers also tweeted about the passing, and added, "In Klitchko Camp its comfirmed that STeward has passed..Bashir who is Emanuel Assistant is My Main Trainer!"
- Steve Kim of Max Boxing also reported the passing, via a phone call from Steward's HBO colleague, Jim Lampley: "I was just given a call by Jim Lampley, who tells me that Emanuel Steward has passed away. 'He's gone,' were his words."
- Eric Raskin has this: "CBS News Radio just called, told me Emanuel Steward's foundation confirmed his passing. Not just a rumor, sadly. RIP to one of the greats."
- Fight Hype reports that Steward passed away, and says that despite reports of Steward suffering from diverticulitis, there is also word that he actually had cancer. That's not confirmed, but has been said by more than a few folks.
It appears -- appears -- that what we have here is a situation where Emanuel Steward's boxing family, as it were, has passed on the information before Mr. Steward's family wants to do the same. What we can say for sure is that at this point, many fighters connected to Steward have acknowledged the passing, and many credible media sources have done the same.
Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes to the Steward family, his friends, and all of his loved ones at this time.