Posted by Press Releases on Jan 29, 2012
Steward legacy hangs on the smudged and controvervial cape of “Superman”.

Steward legacy hangs on the smudged and controvervial cape of “Superman”.

At 67, Boxing Trainer Emanuel Steward is a legend and his work in developing boxing champions made him an easy selection for Boxing’s Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, legends aren’t infallible and his decision to train Super Middleweight Boxer Adonis ” Superman” Stevenson may tarnish his well manicured image of being a first class gentlemen and a boxing scholar and teacher. In less than two weeks since the announcement, a firestorm of criticism has been leveled at Steward for “stealing” Stevenson from Howard and Otis Grant, his loyal mentors and trainers. The brothers , owners and founders of Grant Brothers Pro Boxing Club and Gym in Montreal ,Quebec, issued the following statement in addressing the sudden and recent transition allegedly initiated by Adonis Stevenson:

“We are done with Adonis Stevenson…he is not an honorable guy. We put him out of the gym over some issues.Reporters can direct their questions to whoever is preparing him for Jesus Gonzales.” Howard and Otis Grant, quoted on 2/26/2012 during a telephone conversation . The whoever is Emanuel Steward, one of the boxing world’s most recognizable trainers. It would be safe to say that only fellow Hall of Fame Trainer Angelo Merena aka Angelo Dundee is better known.

It is not clear whether or not Emanuel Steward lured Stevenson to his storied boxing den , aka Kronk’s Gym in Detroit, or was it coincidence? According to Stevenson, he sought a new trainer to take him to the the next level. The Boxer then called Steward who told Stevenson he was headed for California and would take a look at the 34 year old fighter and decide whether or not he would work with the Haitian born pugilist who now fights out of Longueuil, Quebec. Steward stayed five days, instead of the planned two days, and agreed to work with Stevenson . The Grant Brothers who were instrumental in guiding Stevenson to a 16-1 professional ring record after leaving the amateur ranks in 2006 were shocked and obviously hurt at hearing the news, second hand.

Most boxing observers labeled the transition as a good “business” move and saw the decision as a win, win situation for Stevenson who is preparing for a title eliminator bout with Gonzales on 2/18 in Montreal at the Bell Centre with the winner getting a shot at IBF Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Butte The always nattily attired Steward, except in the gym, will no be flogged or dissed for his questionable act of agreeing to handle another trainer’s fighter without requesting permission…it’s business stupid!

The larger and more important issue to be addressed is what did Emanuel Steward knew about his new client before he promised him boxing immortality in the form of a future championship? Did the glib Steward know that his new client is a convicted sex peddler or did he forget to ask? In 1998 , Stevenson was arrested and convicted of pimping underage girls in Montreal. At the time, he was a member of a violent street gang who swore allegiance to a leader that advocated violence and intimidation toward women as means of making money. Adonis wasn’t a child at the time and his crime wasn’t a misdemeanor like stealing beer from a convenience store or joyriding in a stolen car. At his trial, witnesses testified that Adonis doubled his fists and punched his female victims when they refused to do what he asked. For his unforgivable sins, Mr. Stevenson was fined and spent time in prison. Some of his victims and their friends continue to protest the verdict as evidenced by the number of people who go to the Internet and infiltrate boxing sites with stinging remarks aimed towards Stevenson. A number of sites are refusing to allow bloggers to post negative comments about Adonis Stevenson. In explaining why, one site described the charges and conviction as “hear say”. A perfect example of why bloggers aren’t confused with journalists.

As a Hall of Fame Trainer,Emanuel Steward owes an obligation to boxing fan to explain why he is training someone who was accused and convicted of prostituting women. His poor judgement mirrors Joe Paterno’s failure to ask questions after learning that one of his coaches allegedly raped a student. How difficult would it be for Steward to ask Stevenson to address the public and alleviate any tension or apprehension they might have over Stevenson’s past. Natalie’s House, A non-profit organization supporting sexually abused girls, sent their logo to Jesus Gonzales a few days ago and he will wear it on his boxing trunks during his fight with Stevenson. This is an early indicator of how explosive the issue of crimes against women has become. Emanuel Steward can defuse or calm some of that fear by simply going to the airways and explaining why he standing in the corner of Adonis Stevenson. The longer he waits to explain…the less enduring his legacy becomes.

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