October 14th, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez
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.
TREATED ME LIKE HIS SON!
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!
THE HOMELESS GUY & A $50 BILL!
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!
STEWARD CAN BE A SECRETIVE MAN
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!
HAD THIS STORY TWO WEEKS AGO!
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.
TOO MANY PEOPLE LOVE EMANUEL FOR ME TO STAY QUIET!
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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