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Archives: Emanuel Steward Interview (2003)

Oracle Speaks: Emanuel Steward Says. By Scoop Malinowski

Living legend Emanuel Steward – the all-time great boxing trainer AND TV commentator – recently shared his perspective on a some very HOT issues:

On what the hell is REALLY going on with the now postponed (or cancelled) Harris-Hatton Superfight: “I was told that Frank Warren doesn’t want the fight. That he never did want the fight. Ricky Hatton wants the fight. It’s gonna take place eventually – because of all the b*******. Harris wants the fight, just not in Manchester. Harris is the champion, you have to respect that. I remember when we went to Manchester when I was with Prince Naseem Hamed, we saw Ricky Hatton training – what an intense little fella with so much energy. It’s going to be another H vs. H fight, like Hagler and Hearns. I can see how it’s gonna be a slugfest when it happens. Vivian wants to break him down with body punches, not just box him. ”

On why he’s an admitted fan of Ricky Hatton though he’s the manager of Harris now: “I’ve only seen Harris fight twice. To be honest, I’m a big Ricky Hatton fan. Ricky Hatton’s punches are becoming shorter and shorter, he’s improving more and more. He brings an intensity into the ring, he’s explosive. Vivian is a very big junior welterweight at 5-11. He’s technically very sound. And he has tremendous emotion, especially about this fight. You watch him talk sometimes about it in his interviews and he almost comes to tears at times. That emotional intensity brings out extra talents. If I was a betting man, I see this as a 50-50 fight. ”

On why Hatton should come to America: “His fans would follow him to America to watch him fight Harris. The fans in England love that, they love to have a reason to come to America. Being a European fighter, let (Hatton) step up to the plate and come and fight in America – like Lennox and the Klitschkos. That’s what Lennox said at a similar point in his career, ‘I want to fight in America – where the best fighters are. ”

On how badly Harris wants a piece of Hatton: “He is the champion and he won’t be dictated to in this fight (by Frank Warren). He wants to fight Hatton in the worst way. The worst way. I’ve heard a lot of s*** talk but this is real. All the emotions are still there. ”

On his main training subject Wladimir Klitschko: “We know what happened in that fight (vs. Lamon Brewster). He hasn’t lost any confidence. I just talked with Wladimir two hours ago. (His next fight is either on) September 25th or the October 2nd date. He can’t wait to fight. He has not lost any confidence. He is the best heavyweight in the world. Let me put it this way – he’s not afraid of anybody in the world. And he’s the best talent of all the heavyweights today. ”

On the most talented heavyweight he’s ever worked with: “Wladimir is the best talented heavyweight, more than any heavyweight I ever saw. Lennox is number two. Talent you’ve got to realize, is a different story. To achieve what Lennox did is a different story. Lennox had a lot of those different intangibles – he had lots of qualities that made him one of the greatest heavyweight champions ever. Lennox rose to the occasion and changed his style, to be what he had to be. He came out and got physical with Mike Tyson. Wladimir has natural skills, he knows that. Wladimir is a big, big admirer of Lennox Lewis, both of the brothers are. They really appreciate and admire what Lennox did. They try to emulate themselves after Lennox. They want to fight the best. They could go back to Germany and fight a bunch of easy fights. But they don’t do that. Wladimir says, I know what happened in that fight, I’m ready to fight the best right now. ”

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On when he believes Lennox Lewis was at his absolute very best: “I would say when he fought Golota (1997), right about that time. He was unbelievable then. Against Michael Grant (in 2000) was different. I’ve been in champion’s corners, watching Bowe, Tyson, Holyfield, Foreman, Lennox Lewis. There are absolutely no frills or flashy design elements to speak and the three column layout looks a bit dated. Lennox had tremendous talent, but he didn’t really start believing in himself until the very end. He always believed in himself but not to the degree that I did. Wladimir has tremendous natural skills but I can’t say he’s a better fighter than Lennox at this point because of all the other qualities Lennox had. Lennox Lewis is the best heavyweight I ever trained. “.

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