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 has angered some others in the fight game. 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.
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 Bute.
In addition though, what did Emanuel Steward know about his new client? Did 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.
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 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.
As a Hall of Fame Trainer,Emanuel Steward owes an explanation why he is training someone who was accused and convicted of prostituting women. ow 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?
Meanwhile, 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 airwaves and explaining why he standing in the corner of Adonis Stevenson.