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Mike Tyson News: Emanuel Steward Interview on Mike Tyson

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 @ 11:03:19 UTC by tysonian

Source: boxingscene
By Rick Reeno

Emanuel Steward has trained some of the best fighters in the history of the sport, countless world champions in various weight divisions. Currently, Steward is training numerous fighters which include WBA junior welterweight champion Vivian Harris and former WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. When Steward is not training fighters, he handles broadcasting duties on HBO's boxing programs and pay per view events. Steward is one of those few trainers that can take a fighter with limited skills and turn him into a contender.

This past weekend, BoxingScene sat down with Emanuel Steward for a near 2 hour interview to get his thoughts on many of the key names in the sport of boxing. The first part of our interview focuses on former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.

BoxingScene.com: What was you take on the fight between Mike Tyson and Kevin McBride?

Emanuel Steward: Mike has not had his heart into boxing for a long time. And still I respect him for his performance. I didn't see the fight, I was doing the HBO broadcast, but evidentially he put up a good effort. Traditionally he has always had problems with big guys who are not afraid of him. This guy happened to be a big guy, wasn't afraid of him, and put Mike in a real awkward position. Mike realized that he just did not have his heart in it and there was too much and he just quit.

Mike Tyson has not had his heart into boxing for a long time, but I respect him. Mike is still one of my favorite fighters and Mike Tyson's popularity is still going to be big. People are saying "oh he quit", but Mike can still captivate a crowd on a moments notice. I accept Mike. Over time, everybody mellows. At 40, you don't expect someone to run around threatening people, hollering and all that unless something is wrong with them. Everybody mellows out eventually. Mike is doing the same thing to some degree. Mike has been a tremendous enigma that has had a tremendous impact on sports, more then any athlete in long time and right up there with Muhammad Ali I would have to say. Mike and Ali are different types, but he has a tremendous impact on sports. I don't say just boxing, but sports.

BoxingScene.com: A few people in the business think that there is probably still a market out there for a third meeting with Evander Holyfield.

Emanuel Steward: I think so too.

More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click 'Read More' below).BoxingScene.com: The promoters could be probably pull off bringing Mike back against Evander, neither man looked great in their last outing.

Emanuel Steward: I would have to say that Evander would still have to be favored, it's just a matter of styles. And let me tell you something else, Mike Tyson can still go to Europe or wherever. Mike Tyson still is a draw, even if he feels up to it or not. I think a lot of it has to do with matching Mike properly. Mike Tyson does not need to be in with tall fighters who are not afraid of him. I've known Mike since he was 13 or 14 when I used to see him in the juniors. Mike Tyson has always had problems with tall fighters. I take my hat off to him when you really look at Mike and see the physical size of Mike, to see what he has accomplished is amazing. Mike is a small man, he has always had problems with tall fighters. Even one fighter that I was managing at the time, Tony Tucker. He had problems with Mitch Green, Bonecrusher Smith. Just think about that, all of those guys were problem fighters for him.

BoxingScene.com: Do you think that his management overlooked McBride because he was stopped not that long ago by a fighter who up until he met McBride, lost 17 fights in a row?

Emanuel Steward: I think so, most of the public did too. I didn't ever see it that way myself. I thought Mike would of won, but since day 1 I was suspicious. You know why, because the guy was not afraid of Mike. Even though his (McBride) past record didn't indicate it. Mike has problems with people who are not afraid of him. Mike just doesn't have his heart in it , but by the same token I love the Mike that I see now. I saw him out in Phoenix and man you talk about something so wonderful. He seems to have found his niche with the Phoenix crowd market. I was there for the Kostya Tszyu and Sharmba Mitchell fight and the crowd loved him. He totally and spiritually seems to be at home there. I like the new Mike Tyson.

BoxingScene.com: Some have suggested that since Mike Tyson is such a knowledgeable guy, especially with the history of boxing, there might be a place for him as a commentator similar to Roy Jones.

Emanuel Steward: I think there is a place for Mike in hosting a talk show, in anything. Mike Tyson's potential in life is phenomenal. He can do so many things and I would be one of the first people there to support him. Mike talks a lot about life. To a certain degree he is a philosopher. He's had a lot of experiences in life that qualifies him to speak about a lot of things. Maybe that is what has hurt his boxing career (laughing), he has become so diversified and balanced out in his way of thinking. He loves spending time with his kids, he has a real appreciation for his ex-wife. Everybody says she used him, but I understand Mike because he says that she still stands by his side. All of these assets that he lets her have, it stops the government people from taking it from him. He knows that she is using these things to help take care of his kids. Mike is right now turning out be a philosopher and a real spokesperson for a lot of different things.

BoxingScene.com: Mike is still the most well known boxer out there. If you ask anyone, regardless of age, they know Mike Tyson. You cannot say the same thing about any other fighter with the exception of Muhammad Ali.

Emanuel Steward: I'll tell you what. If had a boxing show or some event and I had a choice of someone I would like to bring. Out of all the guys I've had and known, Lennox (Lewis), Roy Jones and everybody, I would bring Mike Tyson. What's interesting is the one fight he had in Michigan, my hometown, against Golota. Do you know how much the people love him there. There has not been a fighter that has gone through there that was loved as much as Mike. Every restaurant he went to the people went crazy for him. The children loved him. He was a perfect gentleman. He was loved everywhere.

I saw a side of him, he has a lot of different personalities and he will tell you that himself. Personally, all the time I've dealt with him, he's one of my favorite people. He's not the same guy that he used to be. There was a time when even I myself, would cuss and raise hell, a guy would say something to me in a restaurant and I would jump up and fight, but I think now before I do things. When your an athlete in a sport like boxing, it's not a good thing, but that comes with maturity. You think and then you act.

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