DETROIT (WJBK) - FOX 2 has confirmed Emanuel Steward, the owner of the legendary Kronk Gym and one of boxing's greatest trainers, has died. He was 68.
Last month FOX 2 reported Steward was hospitalized after undergoing stomach surgery at a Chicago-area hospital but the specifics of his illness were not revealed. Members of the boxing community gather for a prayer vigil in Walled Lake, Mich. on Sept. 23.
Click the video player to watch a video report from FOx 2's Ryan Ermanni.
The International Boxing Hall-of-Famer made his name training Thomas Hearns at the Kronk Gym in Detroit. That paved the way for Steward to work with a long line of champion boxers such as champion Lennox Lewis, during a big part of his title run, and current heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko as recently as July.
Klitschko released a statement to TMZ saying "Boxing has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Emanuel Steward."
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing also released a statement calling Steward a Detroit icon:
"I am saddened to learn of the passing of Emanuel Steward. My thoughts and prayers are with the Steward family, and I'm sure all Detroiters share that sentiment. With the loss of Emanuel Steward, we have lost a true Detroit icon. Emanuel Steward embodied our city's toughness, our competitive spirit, and our determination to always answer the bell. We are grateful for Emanuel Steward's many contributions to our city and his impact on generations of young people."
So far an exact cause of death has not been disclosed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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