DETROIT (AP) – Family of the late Hall of Fame boxing trainer Emanuel Steward wants to bring back his former Detroit boxing gym and establish a scholarship fund.
The trainer’s sister Diane Steward-Jones and daughter Sylvia Ann Steward-Williams are discussing plans, the Detroit Free Press reported. His daughter owns the Kronk Gym name, trademark and brand, and she said a new Kronk location is being considered.
“We are looking at a property on the northwest side of the city,” Steward-Williams said. “We’ll be putting together an educational fund to go along with the gym. We’d like to start up an Emanuel Steward scholarship.”
Within 24 hours of Steward’s death last year at the age of 68, the Kronk location in Detroit was closed at his sister’s request. She said at the time that she was taking things out of the gym, including the boxing ring and historic fight photos and posters, to “safeguard the legacy” of her brother.
The closure left young people training to box without a place to go, and many of them were scattered to other area gyms.
“The kids are now vagabonds wandering from gym to gym,” Steward-Jones said. “They want to get back together, and we are looking at supplying more than just a ring and a boxing program for them. We want a new home – one that Emanuel envisioned before his death.”
Emanuel Steward established the Kronk program in 1971. The gym’s first professional champion, Hilmer Kenty, won the WBA title in 1978. But Tommy “Hitman” Hearns really put Kronk and Steward on the map, winning five titles with a 61-5-1 record as a pro.
The original Kronk location closed in 2006.
State boxing commissioner emeritus Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum, a lifelong friend of Steward’s, said the trainer’s death left a void in boxing.
“The magnitude of this man and impact on boxing cannot be measured,” Kirschenbaum said. “His biggest love was the amateurs, and without that the sport is terminal in Detroit. We need to stimulate the program.”
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