After last week's tragic loss of Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, his long-time assistant, and world-class trainer in his own right, James Ali Bashir gave FightHype.com an official statement regarding Steward, as well as Team Klitschko, as Wladimir prepares for his November 10th title defense against Mariusz Wach in Germany. "Yes, the incomparable Emanuel Steward is gone, but Emanuel's spirit still lives in all of us as a team and all will see and feel it when we step in that ring on the 10th of next month," Bashir commented.
Wladimir has replaced Steward with long-time sparring partner and heavyweight contender Jonathan Banks, who will be the head trainer in his upcoming bout against Wach. In turn, Banks himself has the biggest fight of his career just one week after his corner duties for Wladimir as he faces undefeated heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell November 17th on HBO. This will be Wladimir's first outing without Steward at his side since March of 2003 when he lost his WBO title to the now deceased Corrie Sanders. Soon after, Klitschko enlisted the help of Steward and went 18-1 under his tutelage.