Emanuel Steward, earnest yet easygoing, proved rough and tough wasn't the only way to win in boxing. With a twinkle in his eyes, a smile on his face and a soothing voice, Steward developed unique bonds in and out of the ring with a long line of champions that included Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Wladimir Klitschko. Steward, owner of the Kronk Gym in Detroit and an International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer, died Thursday. He was 68. His executive assistant, Victoria Kirton, said Steward died Thursday at a Chicago hospital. She didn't disclose the cause of death. ''It is not often that a person in any line of work gets a chance to work with a legend, well I was privileged enough to work with one for almost a decade,'' Klitschko said Thursday. ''I will miss our time together. The long talks about boxing, the world, and life itself. Most of all I will miss our friendship.'' Steward, whose father was a coal miner and mother was a seamstress, was born in West Virginia. He got boxing gloves as a Christmas present at the age of 8, the start of what would become a long career in the sweet science.
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