Lennox Lewis and Naseem Hamed remember Manny Steward

Last Updated: 05/11/12 9:55am

Manny knew how to motivate me – Lewis

Two of Britain's finest fighters paid tribute to the late Manny Steward on Ringside.

Three-time heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Naseem Hamed, who dominated the featherweight division in the late 90s, both worked with the legendary trainer, who died earlier this week.

Speaking to Ringside, the pair spoke of their respect, affection and debt to the charismatic coach.

Lennox Lewis on Manny Steward's death

This was a hard week for me; when I heard the news about Manny I was shocked. There was no lead-up to this; it was so sudden. I know Emmanuel was pretty private about his affairs but I was actually talking to him a few weeks before and it is sad news to hear.

I don't just feel sad for me, though, I feel sad for what he meant to a lot of people out there, especially young and old fighters who had his tutelage and realise how special he was. What he stood for as a man is going to be missed.

Naseem Hamed on how Manny Steward will be remembered

He's going to be remembered as one of the best there's ever been. Boxing has just lost probably the best trainer that's ever lived. The guy is an out and out legend. His heart was pearl white. He was an amazing man. These are sad times for the whole of the boxing world.

Naseem Hamed on having Manny Steward in his corner

Manny is definitely one of the best trainers that's ever lived. I remember when he was in my corner when I fought Paul Ingle and I came back to the corner at the end of the 10th round. It was getting hot in there and I was exhausted. He said you just need to throw this certain punch, a straight through the middle. I did exactly what he said and knocked Ingle out.

Lennox Lewis on Steward's influence on his career

[Before losing to Oliver McCall] I was looking for a trainer and he was training some other people and wasn't available at the time. But during my amateur experience we had spoken a bit and he said he'd love to train me one day. It wasn't until after my loss to Oliver McCall I realised I needed a trainer. These other trainers were coaches; I needed someone to train me.

Manny was a great trainer because he didn't want to change your style, he just fixed the rough parts around it and fine-tuned me as a fighter.

Manny was a very special trainer and in the pantheon of trainers out there I say he stands at the top. His success stories speak for themselves. He had a lot more to give and so much knowledge is going to be lost. Me and him would talk on the phone for hours; he loved boxing and he knew how to motivate me.

There's only one Emmanuel Steward and those that have spent time with him will understand what I'm talking about.

Naseem Hamed on Manny Steward's Kronk gym

The Kronk gym was an amazing gym, knowing that legends like Tommy Hearns were born out of that stable. I felt Manny was good on the pads but to me his technical brain and his way of seeing exactly what's happening in a fight was his main asset. He was amazing at reading what happens within a fight. He was technically more advanced than anyone I've ever known in the sport.