Emanuel "The Goldfather" Steward


San Francisco, CA– Even before Tommy Hearns’ son Ronald Hearns got knocked out on Friday night, word was slowly seeping around the Michigan arena that Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, the US National AAU boxing champion circa 1964, and of course the founder of the Kronk Gym in Detroit, MI, has advanced Colon Cancer . As I sit here and pound out my 30 worlds a minute on my Apple Mac, tears are rolling down my face.


Although we have a special bond, Emanuel is close with a lot of people. There is nothing better than talking with him on life, politics, business, boxing, broads, people in boxing, when Emanuel and I get together it’s like two women gossiping. Not afraid to admit it! There are even secret things that I can never broach that Steward and I have discussed in our 30 year friendship. When I stayed in Detroit, he wanted me at his house and not in a hotel!


Benevolence is one of Emanuel’s great traits! I’ve seen him give boxing equipment away in airports to strangers! Once we were in Los Angeles, CA and a homeless man was begging for food money. We had just spent $200 on dinner and were waiting for our driver when this down and out guy asked us for some food. I gave him half my ribeye, Emanuel gave up his doggie bag and as the guy was scarfing down the grub a few feet away, Emanuel reaches in to his pocket, pulls out a $50 and gives it to him. The man is jumping for joy, I’m out my midnight snack and the Goldfather was just being the Kronk Gym Goldfather of Detroit!


Look, when Tommy Hearns was asking Friday night for a “moment of silence for Emanuel Steward,” you know that something is seriously wrong. All I can say is that there are few people that I have the level of admiration that is akin to me. Lindy Lindell, Hector Martinez, Ron Marshall, Favio Flores, Scott Cutty, their kids, my family, this isn’t an entire list but if I lost any of them, and now I’m throwing Emanuel’s name in there, I’d be devastated!


When I first got word of Steward apparently having Colon Cancer a fortnight ago, I made a few calls and got hung up on quicker than a crank caller when I posed the Cancer question to them. People were hanging up phones on me, something I’m used to by now, but I usually have to tick them off. I could sense from the reactions to my my blunt questions that people were not being forthright and honest. As I mentioned earlier, Steward is a “private” person in certain regards, one of which his health.


All I can say is that I hope that this story and the information contained in it are false. Emanuel wanted privacy and I respect that but he is loved by too many to not run with what you’re being told. But my gut feeling, that and the way people are reacting when I start asking tells me I hit a nerve and that I’m not wrong! That being said, I hope with all my heart that Emanuel can return to being what the late Racing Form columnist Ben Greene dubbed him, “The Goldfather.”


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Pedro Fernandez


  • What a gracious and giving human being.. Emanuel, Frank Garza, and I were on a Detroit Sports station, June 1,12,the together, for the “Ciprinai Family” charity event. Man, I will never forget the GREATEST TIME of OUR LIVES, when you Pedro, and about 160 of us flew to Beijing with Ali, Emanuel and all, for 5 Boxing Championship Bouts, at the Capital Center. Manny, as always was cool, calculated, and caring for all he touched. Our prayers are extended to Mr. Steward, and we wish for his 100% recovery, and robust health to return. The World Needs More Manny Stweard’s… May God Bless you our friend, and keep you safely near His heart.

  • I found the original article which I was referring to. It was written on May 21st by Pedro concerning the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb who had just died of colon cancer.

  • Horrible news, but lets not count him out yet. I seen him at Pechanga Casino earlier this year. Best wishes

  • Pedro:

    I remember you wrote an article several months ago about someone dying of colon cancer (I forget who but I think it was a musician).

    In that article, you implored people aged 50 or over to get a colonoscopy.

    Hopefully, someone reading this article who is over aged 50 will schedule a colonoscopy soon.

    I got mine at age 44 and it saved my life (had invasive cancer and a foot of my colon was removed).

    Best to Emanual Steward.

  • Say it ain’t so!

  • Get well, GOLDFATHER!

  • Horrible news. Praying for Manny now…..

  • dennis andries,wilfredo benitez,julio cesar chavez,lennox lewis,michael moorer,evander holyfield,oscar de la hoya,miguel cotto,oliver mccall,mike mccallum,milton mccrory,steve mccrory,nazeem hammed,kermit cintron,thomas hearn,gerald mcclellan,john david jackson,jermain taylor,james toney,hilmer kenty,duane thomas,jimmy paul,migel angel gonzalez,wlad klitchko,yuriorkis,gamboa,ole klemesten,domonique dolton.thats a lot of quality world champion boxers steward has trained.steward and futch the greatest trainers of all.this is such sad news to hear pedro :(

  • I’m with you. Although more than likely it appears to be true, if you are ever wrong about something Pedro, I hope it’s this article. Peace.

  • Sooo sorry to hear about this. Always remeber meeting Emanual Steward back in June 1989 when Hearns had public work out getting ready for Leonard 2 at Ceasar. He was very nice to me upon meeting him and that always stick out to me.

  • “advanced?” terrible news.

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