Tyson Fury shocked the boxing world by splitting from trainer Ben Davison and appointing SugarHill Steward as his replacement ahead of his rematch with Deontay Wilder.
In an unexpected move just weeks out from his Las Vegas showdown with the WBC heavyweight champion, Fury made a drastic change which could prove either genius or disastrous.
Steward will now be in the Gypsy King’s corner for next weekend’s blockbuster bout with Wilder at the MGM Grand, which you can listen to live on talkSPORT.
But who is the little-known coach and what is his background?
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A post shared by SugarHill Steward (@kronksugarhill) on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:11pm PDT
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Legendary Family History
Steward, formerly known as Javan ‘Sugar’ Hill, is the nephew of one of boxing’s greatest trainers, Emanuel ‘Manny’ Steward.
He changed his name officially last year, explaining that Manny was a father to him.
SugarHill grew up around Steward’s famous Kronk Gym in Detroit and witnessed him training many iconic champions through the years, most notably Tommy Hearns.
Manny also coached top heavyweights such as Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Wladimir Klitschko.
While the original Kronk facility is now gone, with Emanuel Steward having also passed, SugarHill intends to continue the legacy.
First Meeting Fury
In 2010, Fury travelled to America to spend three weeks training with Emanuel Steward at the Kronk Gym.
His cousin Andy Lee (who went on to become middleweight world champion) was coached by Manny and so Fury used the connection to make his mark.
The 21-year-old massively impressed the legendary trainer, who took him into his home for the three-week stint.
It was during this time that Fury first met SugarHill and prompted Manny to correctly prophesise that he would go on to become a heavyweight champion after Wladimir Klitschko.
When Emanuel Steward passed away in 2012, SugarHill helped out some of his former fighters, such as light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
He’s also trained Anthony Dirrell, Charles Martin and worked as part of Andy Lee’s team.
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Fury’s Time At Kronk Gym
When previously speaking about his time in Detroit, Fury told talkSPORT: “I had the opportunity to go there – the Kronk Gym – and I ended up going.
“So I just landed over there, they didn’t even know I was coming. I walked in the gym, I was like, ‘Is Emanuel Steward here?’
“They said, ‘Who are you?’ I was like, ‘I’m the next heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury.’
“They took me down to see him and that was it. I moved into his house that day.
“I was there for three weeks in Detroit with him, we trained every day, we talked about a lot of stuff, he had a lot of knowledge on boxing.
A young @Tyson_Fury training at the Kronk Gym, with Emanuel “Manny” Steward.
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“It wasn’t just physical where he was great, he was great at communicating with a fighter and talking over fights.”
While at the Kronk Gym, Fury far from shied away from sparring with the locals.
He explained: “I went there and everybody above cruiserweight, light-heavyweight, got in the ring with me and I smashed them.
“Even though I was only 21 years old. Anyone they brought, I was even sparring two or three fighters at a time, the light ones, they couldn’t believe it.”
talkSPORT is to broadcast the exclusive audio rights to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s highly anticipated rematch on Saturday, February 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We will bring you nine hours of uninterrupted coverage from 10pm through to 7am GMT Sunday morning, including all the build up, action and post-fight analysis