SugarHill Steward and Tyson Fury seem a match made in heaven. Together, they’ve made Fury WBC Heavyweight Champion and defended the belt twice. In their three outings as trainer and fighter, Fury has produced three knockouts.
The pair got together before ‘The Gypsy King’s rematch with Deontay Wilder in early 2020, but it was ten years prior that they first met.
Fury flew to America, determined to work with the legendary trainer Emanual Steward in his equally famous Kronk Gym, Detroit. The British fighter was just 12-0 at the time, and Steward was working with established fighters including Wladimir Klitschko and Fury’s cousin, Andy Lee.
‘The Gypsy King’ found his way to the gym and announced himself as a future heavyweight champion. Steward was suitably impressed, and even trained Fury for one fight – a unanimous decision victory over American Zack Page.
Emanuel Steward had other, more pressing responsibilities though – after all, Fury was just an up and comer at the time. They went their separate ways, but it wasn’t the end of his relationship with the Kronk style.
Another man present on Fury’s first visit to the gym was SugarHill – nephew of Emanuel. The younger Steward told Boxing King Media about his first meeting with his future fighter.
“They told me there’s this big white boy in the gym talking about he’s going to be the next heavyweight champ … and I just kept working like ‘okay.’
I was introduced to him and he told me who he was, and he mentioned Andy Lee. Andy Lee was like a brother to me. I told him to go ahead and change and start working out, and I was watching him work out and he had exceptional movement [and] athleticism for a man of that size.
For me it was like ‘alright that’s pretty good’ but where I’m from I’ve seen people come in and hit the bag and look brilliant, but let’s see how you do when you box. So he had his first chance to spar, and that was his last chance to spar too because who he was sparring didn’t want to spar anymore. And that’s history.”
It’s some sort of heavyweight fate that SugarHill now corners Fury on a permanent basis, and they have the sort of bond that’s crucial for a trainer to get the most out of his fighter. The pair will team up once more for a fight later this year against, as is likely at the time of writing, Anthony Joshua.