Hall of Fame trainer and HBO boxing analyst Emanuel Steward is recovering following stomach surgery to treat diverticulitis, the Detroit Free Press reports, and the word from his sister is that he's doing better than expected.
Steward "is ahead of schedule in his physical healing, so much so that he is being moved to a different room on a different floor," [Diane] Steward-Jones wrote. "This is a graduation of sorts -- he'll need less medical supervision with this move."
Steward, 68, was notably absent from the Chavez Jr vs Martinez pay-per-view on September 15, which he was originally scheduled to work before being replaced by Roy Jones Jr, who sat in with Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman. Lampley noted only that Steward had been having health problems.
The trainer's sister also wrote that Steward has recently spoken with Wladimir Klitschko, his top fighter these days:
"He and Wlady are best friends, and he grinned from ear to ear while Wlady conveyed his well wishes for a speedy recovery. That call must have been mixed with a magic elixir because he started to improve even more."
Klitschko fights on November 10 in Germany against Mariusz Wach. No word has been made public about who has or will replace Steward as Wladimir's lead cornerman for that fight.
If diverticulitis sounds familiar but you can't place it, you might be thinking of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who battled it during his fighting career. It's a nasty enough disease to have knocked an in-prime athlete out of his sport for a good while, and is certainly no minor ordeal.
Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes for a speedy recovery out to Mr. Steward.