Boxing manager Si Stern, president of SHS Boxing Management, passed away at the age of 81 this past Monday due to complications from a heart attack.
Stern managed three-time, two-division Randall “The Knock Out King” Bailey, veteran heavyweight Sherman “Tank” Williams, Marcus “Arillius” Upshaw and former Cuban Olympian Robert Alfonso.
A very successful businessman, Williams explained that Stern also had a law degree and studied at one point to be a rabbi. Si recently returned from Romania, where he supported Williams at his fight, on Sunday, Aug. 30 and he suffered a heart attack the following day at home in Key West. He was air lifted to a hospital in Miami, where he remained for a week before he succumbed.
Bailey and Stern’s partner, Dave Johnson, along with Stern’s son, Gary, and daughter, Cynthia, were bedside in the hospital with Si for several days until the end. “I spoke to Si on Sunday night (August 30) and got a call the next day saying he had been admitted to the hospital,” Bailey explained. “He suffered a massive heart attack. Things were up and down all week until last weekend.
Randall Bailey (L) with Si Stern (holding belt) and his son, Gary Stern, shown here after Bailey knocked out Mike Jones in 2012 for the IBF welterweight title
“Si was a great guy and a good friend. As a manager, he always fought for his boxers. If nobody else cared, Si cared; if they couldn’t do it, Si would do it. I was with him nearly 10 years and nobody was throwing money our way. It was hard for us. I only made enough money in a few fights, like when I won the world title, where he took any money. If Si had your back, he’d go to war with you.
“He’d drive up from Key West to Miami to see me but, instead of staying overnight, he’d drive back. He’d call me call me 10 times while he drove home. He was so happy to get me a promotional contract (AK Promotions in Korea) and was really looking forward to my fight October 4th in Korea. I’m dedicating that fight to Si and we’ll be doing something special.”
L-R: Si Stern & Sherman “Tank” Williams shown here in Romania
Williams was managed by Stern for the past 11 years and they had a special relationship. They had dinner together in Romania and flew back to the U.S., arriving Sunday, August 30.
“Si was much more than my manager,” Williams offered. “He was a good friend, a confident I could always rely on for advice, in and out of boxing. Si was an all-around good man. We had many deep discussion about politics and religion, me being a Christian and Si a Jew, especially spending so many days together in Romania.
“We all lost a good man in Si Stern. I was proud to be represented by Si. He wasn’t in boxing for the money. He was an important part of my life. He was always there for me and all of his fighters. Si never took a short cut or spared money. Si Stern was the best manager I ever had.”