After battling an extended illness, 1984 Olympic boxing gold medalist Steve McCrory died Tuesday night. He was 36.
He died at Detroit Receiving Hospital, where spokeswoman Mattie Majors refused to reveal cause of death. A message seeking comment was left with McCrory's family.
McCrory and his brother, Milton, helped bring international fame to the Detroit Kronk Gym Boxing team. Milton won a welterweight world championship, and Steve handily won the gold medal in the flyweight class (112 1/2 pounds) at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Among the other Americans who won gold medals then were Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland, Henry Tillman and Tyrell Biggs.
Always confident, McCrory all but predicted his Olympic victory. Afterward, he recalled that the night before the title bout against Redzep Redzepovski of Yugoslavia he lay in bed dreaming of his accomplishments.
"I was smiling in my sleep," he said.
And when he won his gold medal, he didn't forget where he came from.
"Detroit, this is for you," McCrory said.
Longtime friends remembered "Stevie" for more than his skills in the rings. They talked about his personality and style away from his career.
"He was charming, and he could talk to anybody," said Jimmy Paul, who grew up with McCrory, trained at Kronk Gym, and later became a world champion.
"He had that smile. He could get in anybody's heart and you'd feel close to him," Paul told the Detroit Free Press.
Paul's brother, Danny, a friend and champion boxer who also trained at Kronk, said: "We're all going to miss him. He was a wonderful person."
McCrory grew up on the city's northeast side and attended Pershing High. At age 10 he followed others in the neighborhood, including his brother, into the gym.
He quickly showed his precocious talent, blending a combination of ring savvy and style. Only 5-foot-5, he was quick enough to outpoint rivals.
A viewing is scheduled Sunday and the funeral for Monday.
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