Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Ja heavyweight dies in New York

Published:Saturday | November 26, 2016 | 11:00 AMLeroy Brown

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.