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  1. ITV Report

Legendary boxing trainer Emanuel Steward dies aged 68

Emanuel Steward passed away last night aged 68 Photo: Reuters

Emanuel Steward, one of the most successful boxing trainers of all-time has died at the age of 68, his sister Diane Steward-Jones has confirmed.

Steward had recently undergone surgery for a stomach illness and had been forced to relinquish his role as chief trainer for Wladimir Klitschko's upcoming world heavyweight title fight against Mariusz Wach.

Lennox Lewis with trainer Emanuel Steward Credit: Reuters

Steward's family had gathered at his hospital bedside and Steward-Jones confirmed his passing, at 14.46 Detroit time (1946BST), in a telephone call to the Detroit Free Press.

Steward has been training Vladimir Klitschko Credit: Reuters

Steward-Jones told the newspaper: "He has passed - he's gone home. He was in no pain, and we sang to him, as well as did the doctors present. He had loved ones with him. He gave it his all, but he's been called away now."

Steward, who was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996, trained or was involved in the careers of more than 40 world champions, but first found fame with legendary Detroit fighter Thomas Hearns in the 1980s.

Hearns, who became Steward's first professional fighter along with another Detroit native, Hilmer Kenty, in 1977, won his first world title in 1980 and went on to engage in a series of all-time classics with Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler.

In later years, Steward went on to help shape the careers of Naseem Hamed and Lennox Lewis, among others, before turning his attention to the younger of the Klitschko brothers, whom he had always admired.