Boxing: Steward rejects Tyson approach

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The Independent Online
The leading trainer Emanuel Steward has rejected overtures from Mike Tyson's camp to work with the former undisputed world heavyweight champion and will remain with Britain's Lennox Lewis. Frank Maloney, Lewis's manager, yesterday claimed that Steward's decision proved that Lewis was "the best heavyweight in the world".

Steward was approached by Tyson's handlers to take over his training routines following the surprise loss of his World Boxing Association heavyweight title to Evander Holyfield. But the overlord of Detroit's famous Kronk gymnasium believes Lewis is the best heavyweight in the world and wants to remain with the best.

Maloney said: "Lewis has the best trainer in the world because Tyson went after him. And it proves to everyone Lennox is the best heavyweight in the world as Emanuel decided to stay with him.

"If Lennox and Tyson were ever to meet, Emanuel has predicted there would be only one winner, and he wants to be in the winner's corner.

"Obviously he would have been paid a lot of money, but it just goes to show how good his contract is with Lewis. He rang me to say he had been approached to take over Tyson and other heavyweights, but told me he was going nowhere. The Lewis team is a loyal team, and this is all part of that. When you look back, it's one of the only championship teams that hasn't had a lot of changes in it."

Steward switched camps to join Lewis after training Oliver McCall to take the World Boxing Council title from Lewis at Wembley Arena in September 1994. Lewis had been previously trained by the Puerto Rican Pepe Correa.

Since then, Steward has masterminded Lewis' wins over Lionel Butler in a WBC final eliminator, Justin Fortune, Tommy Morrison and Ray Mercer in his last fight at Madison Square Garden in May.

Steward said: "I suppose it is quite flattering to be asked by Mike to work with him. A lot of people believe that is the No 1 trainer's job in boxing but I had to tell him and his people I already have the top job."

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