Mike “No Joke” Stewart Delaware’s First HOF Inductee! - Doghouse Interview
By Ken Hissner, Dog House Boxing (Oct 29, 2015)
Tweet Follow @DoghouseBoxing
Stewart turned pro in 1996 was 28-0-2 before he lost his first fight to Dorin Spivey, 28-2, by split decision in 2002. In his previous fight he defeated Ivan Robinson, 31-7-2, in a USBA title defense. He defeated Mike Tidline who held him to a draw in 1997 in 1998. The other draw was in 1999 against Sammy Sparkman, 10-3, in Mississippi. There was never a rematch. He won 11 straight after this with 8 knockouts prior to losing to Spivey.
Stewart had wins over Joshua Smith, 15-2, Manard Reed, 26-2 and Charles “Chucky T” Tschomiawsky, 22-5-1, for the vacant USBA title in 2003. His first defense was over former IBF champion Terron Millett, 27-4-1, who never fought again.
After defeating Ivan Robinson, Stewart was 35-1-2 when he fought for the interim IBF super lightweight title in the UK losing to former WBA super lightweight champion Sharmba Mitchell, 53-3, over 12 rounds. Two fights later back in the UK he challenged for the WBU title losing to Ricky Hatton, 36-0, in an IBF light welterweight title eliminator. Two fights later he lost a split decision to Juan Carlos Rubio, 31-7-3, of Mexico. He was promised a title fight if he won.
Just two fights later Stewart was on the TV show “The Contender.” He picked Ebo Elder, 22-2, as his first opponent whom he defeated, after their wives had become friends. In his next fight he lost to eventual winner Grady “Bad Boy” Brewer, 19-11. After another pair of wins he lost to Enrique Colin, 20-4-2, by majority decision. In his last fight in Philadelphia which was his twentieth (15-4-1) he lost to Robert Frankel, 20-7-1. He was 15-4-1 in Philly.
Stewart came back with 4 straight wins before being held to a majority draw by David Torres, 21-2-1, for the vacant WBA-NABA super lightweight title. Two fights later he won a TD in 9 rounds over Joe Wyatt, 23-2. Next was his last fight losing for the first time in his home state of DE losing to Chris Fernandez, 19-15-1, over 8 round’s. He was 17-1-2 in DE.
IBHOF Referee Steve “SS” Smoger: I ref’d Mike at the Blue (Horizon) and Dover Downs (DE). Tough, competitive fighter. Always in shape. Never complained and fought hard. I always enjoyed working with Mike and his brother Richard.”
PA HOF Cut Man Joey Eye: I had the pleasure to work cuts with Mike on more than one occasion. He was a true warrior with good boxing skills. I was always impressed with his ring generalship, and nice left hook. Even though his ring name was “No Joke” he has a great sense of humor. A good guy inside and outside the ring.
Seconds Out Writer JEFF JOWETT: Mike put Delaware on the map, especially Dover Downs which was a really nice venue there for many years and a lot of good fighters got a chance to fight that they wouldn’t have had without Mike headlining in good fights and bringing in the crowd. Mansour was a good attraction too, but Delaware will never again be what it was when Mike Stewart was fighting.
Stewart is today a union worker and one who speaks his mind about boxing and those who run it. He is “No Joke!”
KEN HISSNER: Mike you were always one of the biggest attractions in your home state of Delaware having posted a 17-1-2 record there. How meaningful was it being the first boxer to be inducted into the Delaware Hall of Fame?
MIKE STEWART: It’s always big. My whole career was centered on the fans in Delaware. For my kids to grow up and say “that’s my dad means the world to me!”
KEN HISSNER: Like a lot of fighters who started their career off with a bang with 7 of your first 11 fights being at Philly’s Legendary Blue Horizon. What was your impression in fighting there?
MIKE STEWART: You loved fighting there. I must have fought 12 times there. (11-0-1 at BH and in a rematch reversed that draw)
KEN HISSNER: You were 28-0-2 before losing to Dorin Spivey by split decision. Was he your toughest opponent up until then?
MIKE STEWART: Nah. He had a 22-2 record with 16 knockouts and threw over 1,000 punches that fight. I should have listened to Leon Tabbs and Dwight Triplett (corner men)
KEN HISSNER: You win the vacant USBA title over Philly’s Chucky “T” Tschomiawsky. How important was it winning the title?
MIKE STEWART: It got you ranked in the top 10 in the world. It was huge for Delaware.
KEN HISSNER: In your next fight you stop former world champion Terron Millett in a title defense. At this point who was your trainer, manager and promoter?
MIKE STEWART: Leon Tabbs, Keith Stoffer and J Russell Peltz.
KEN HISSNER: You go onto score a big win over Philly’s Ivan Robinson in Philly. Were you ready for a world title fight at this point?
MIKE STEWART: I don’t know if I was or not. I had gotten into a car accident and I got jammed up a bit. I was rated No. 3 but there was no No. 1 or 2.
KEN HISSNER: You earn a shot at the interim IBF super lightweight title against fellow American Sharmba Mitchell but have to travel to the UK, why?
MIKE STEWART: Ask Russell Peltz.
KEN HISSNER: Six months later you are back in the UK against Ricky Hatton and are stopped in what would be your only career loss ending this way. The WBU title is also on the line and it’s an IBF title eliminator. Was Hatton everything he was cracked up to be?
MIKE STEWART: Hatton was as strong as hell. I fought a Mexican kid between Mitchell and Hatton and was beat up from previous fight with Carlos Antonio Escobar. He was tough. Before Hatton I was in CA and supposed to be on the first The Contender show and got a call from Peltz for the Hatton fight.
KEN HISSNER: In January of 2006 who are chosen for the TV series the Contender. You said you picked Ebo Elder because he was the toughest. Your wife befriends Ebo’s wife. What was her reaction to your picking Elder?
MIKE STEWART: I tore my rotar cuff in that fight. I got two 10k necklaces and gave one to Ebo’s wife who was a new to my wife.
KEN HISSNER: You fight Grady Brewer in the semi-final losing by decision while Brewer goes onto win the series. How discouraged were you about your career at this point?
MIKE STEWART: He was too big for me though not that good. I was a 140 going into this tournament. Brewer was a middleweight by fight time (eventual 154 and I was beefed up to 150. (Brewer won tournament. He was IBA super welter champ prior and IBC super welter champ later. Stewart was 141 prior to fight with Elder)
KEN HISSNER: After posting a pair of wins you lose to Enrique Colon. You once stated PA boxing director Sirb would never allow you to be in an easy fight. Was this one of those cases?
MIKE STEWART: Of course it was. The guy head butted me and I had to get 11 stitches on my eye. Sirb knows what he did. He kept bringing judge Bobby Grasso back though I complained how he always voted against me (3 out of 4 times).
KEN HISSNER: You have your last fight in Philly which is your 20th. You lose to Robert Frankel. In watching this fight it looking like you couldn’t pull the trigger fast enough. Was that the case?
MIKE STEWART: I was in no shape and sick as a dog. (off 18 months after that fight)
KEN HISSNER: You are inactive for 18 months returning to win 4 straight and are pitted against David Torres for the vacant WBA-NABA super lightweight title. It ends in a draw. Did you think you won?
MIKE STEWART: First time I was at 140 in some time. I thought I won. (last time 140 was 7 years prior to this against Hatton)
KEN HISSNER: You travel to VA and take on homeboy Joe Wyatt, and win by technical decision. What happened?
MIKE STEWART: Due to him head butting me they went to the scorecards. I thought I beat him. (Wyatt never fought again)
KEN HISSNER: In May of 2012 you lose for the first time in 20 fights (17-1-2) in DE to Chris Fernandez. When did you decide to retire from boxing?
MIKE STEWART: I was shot by that fight. I was sick of getting robbed and just walked away period. I sold all those tickets for Peltz and always sold out where I fought and they had to add seats where I fought. It was always against a tough opponent.
KEN HISSNER: What is your opinion on why it looks like boxing is over in Delaware?
MIKE STEWART: Who is going to fight down there? Omar Douglas and Kyrone Davis are the only two down there.
KEN HISSNER: Mike thanks for taking the time to answer questions. It is always a pleasure to talk to you. You always gave the fans their monies worth when you fought.
MIKE STEWART: It’s always a pleasure to talk to you for you are one who writes and tells it like it is..
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
- For video content, plus today's newspaper headlines and original content, visit our Front Page now.
-To have your say on this article and mix it up with other Boxing Fans, visit The Dog Pound now.