This one gutted me more than Angelo Dundee, Bert Sugar, and Joe Frazier's deaths. Very, very sad.
Steward was the last of the true ATG trainers that was alive, and his work speaks for itself. Guiding Tommy Hearns from the first day he walked into the gym as a 12 year old boy to being one of the most formidable oponents ever and into a hall of fame fighter. Bettering Lennox Lewis and Wlad Klitschko exponentially. Training the nightmare of a match up Gerald McClellen, and training countless other champions.
He was a good man and one of the few left who genuinely cared for the sport of boxing. I was fortunate enough to meet him in 2010, he was a class act and immensely fan friendly. Even just earlier this year he was still a very strong man, and not just for his age, he was a strong man in general.
Many do not know this, but he as an outstanding amateur fighter as a young man. He went 96-3 as an amateur and was a national golden gloves champion. He then left boxing for a bit to be an electrician, but found his way back into the gym and training fighters...the rest of his career is well known, and should be.
A few months ago I did notice his hair had rapidly turned grey and had thinned a lot between each fight, but I just figured it was because he was 68 and his hair had to grey and thin eventually. Now I realise it was because he had death knocking on his door.