Ja heavy­weight dies in New York

Jamaica Gleaner - - SATURDAY - Leroy Brown Gleaner Writer

JA­MAICAN HEAVY­WEIGHT boxer Alex Ste­wart, who made his name as a top rated fighter be­tween 1986 and 1999, died sud­denly on Novem­ber 16 at a hos­pi­tal in Mount Ver­non, New York, from a blood clot in the lung. He was 52 years old and leaves wife, An­gelia, and daugh­ter Ajay-Te­nille. He will be buried in New York next Tues­day, Novem­ber 29.

Ste­wart was born to Ja­maican par­ents in Lon­don, but came to the island as a young boy. He at­tended Cam­per­down High School and was one of Ja­maica’s top am­a­teur box­ers. His tal­ent was such that he rep­re­sented Ja­maica at the 1983 Pan Amer­i­can Games in Venezuela, where he won a bronze medal and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia. He reached the round of 16 where he lost on points to Swe­den’s Hakan Brock. He be­came a pro­fes­sional boxer in 1986 and was top rated for some time.

He had a sen­sa­tional start to his ca­reer, win­ning his first 24 fights, ei­ther by knock­out or tech­ni­cal knock­out. His first loss was to Evan­der Holy­field, who at the time was also unbeaten with a 22-0 record. Holy­field went on to be­come world cham­pion. He also fought Mike Tyson, who also be­came a world cham­pion. He scored a first-round knock­out against a very ner­vous Ste­wart. His most mem­o­rable fight was against Ge­orge Fore­man, who was then on his sec­ond try for the heavy­weight ti­tle. He lost by ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion, a de­ci­sion that was ques­tioned by many. Ste­wart was put down twice in round two, but came back to have Fore­man, whose eyes were al­most closed and face bat­tered, on the brink of a knock­out near the end of the fight. One judge scored the fight 94-94, while the other two had Fore­man the win­ner 94-93.

Ste­wart ended his ca­reer in 1999 with a record of 43 wins, 40 by knock­out and 10 losses.

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