Exclusive Interview: Brother Naazim Richardson Part 2

By Percy Crawford


Exclusive Interview: Brother Naazim Richardson Part 2

PC: Did you get a chance to see a recent article a boxing magazine published about the 2004 Olympians?

NR: I wanted to address that. Obviously I take part in that because my son was a 2004 Olympian. I think they’re being unfair. I think some of the article was fair in my sons regard. I don’t think it’s fair how they bad mouth Andre Ward for getting knocked down. I remember them bad mouthing Oscar and Trinidad for getting knocked down early in their careers. Anytime I read articles, I check the source. Why don’t we check ourself before we go barking?

PC: So what you’re saying is their expecting too much out of these guys a year into their pro careers.

NR: Yeah, let’s slow down. I’ve seen guys in tears after fights and it never gets brought up again. Then Andre Ward gets knocked down and it’s like, uh oh, what kind of chin does he have? The thing they didn’t give him credit for was the guy who knocked him down was 8-0 with 7 knockouts. That’s the 1 thing, Percy, I always applaud you guys for. Whether people didn’t like what you or Greg Leon was doing, you guys were letting people speak from the belly and that’s fair. I need you to put this out there for me Percy. All of them Andre boys; Ward, Berto and the Dirrel brothers can fight. They are brothers out there that their not mentioning that can fight. These Jones boys, the Peterson brothers, I’ve known since they were babies, Denair brothers and Mickey and Cortez Bay can all fight. Vicente is a fighting dude. I watched him in the Olympic trials be down 6 points and end up winning by 8 in 1 round. He got it legitimately too. Let’s not ignore the fact that these guys can fight. Vincent Escobedo, Steve Luevano and those guys Scully got out there. Mike Oliver, Mario and Edgar Hernandez, come on man, Jamal Davis.

PC: Being around the younger fighters as often as you are, how detrimental is a loss early in their careers?

NR: They’re young. Give them time and if they stumble, I’m not so quick to write them off. This young kid, and you can write him off if you want too, Curtis Stevens. Put your 160 pounder in front of him. Jaidon Cordrington, all these guys, if you sleep on them, watch out. Sleep on these young guys and out of nowhere, Rock Allen, Bear Richardson or Dynamite coming to knock your head off.

PC: What fighters that you haven’t mentioned would you like to put the world on notice of?

NR: I could go on for days. Matt Godfrey, Jason Estrada, Chazz Witherspoon, Matt Remillard and even this kid with Golden Boy, Ponce De Leon. Man, that kid hits so hard it should be laws against him. The problem in boxing is, if I don’t promote you, or manage you or train you, well then he can’t fight. You must be retarded man. I’m going to give you this man and I definitely want everyone to read this. I send this out to everybody that read this interview. You could barely tell me who managed or promoted those legends. We’re talking, Ray Robinson, Charley Burley and Ezzard Charles. Tell me who promoted Ezzard Charles vs. Jersey Joe Walcott? Bert Sugar and some of those guys can tell you, but not the average dude that just loves boxing. You just knew that they could fight. Now they are coming from all sides of the globe. What’s this kids name they have, the middleweight…Miranda. That kid is punching like a horse. Boxers have to stop being so phony. Boxing have to stop being so phony. Fighters say, “This guy is nothing.” Well if he’s nothing, what are you fighting him for? Barrera showed us something great. He didn’t underestimate Rocky. If he would’ve, he would’ve lost to Rocky that night. First off, Rocky is a beast. It was a close fight, but I thought Barrera won and I was proud of both of them guys. A legend doesn’t sleep on anybody and that’s why Barrera is a legend. I don’t mind people underestimating Rock. We’re going to keep moving at our pace and we’ll see you later. We don’t mind playing catch-up. I remember when the only middleweights they were talking about were Joppy and Keith Holmes. You didn’t hear about Bernard. But this is a marathon not a sprint.

PC: The fight game has definitely changed a lot.

NR: Definitely. I watch young fighters now do an interview and they sound like they’ve been boxing 20 years and all they’re doing is imitating the interview they saw someone else do 10 years ago. A guy, Percy, watched 1 of my kids get a knockout. He said, “that kid is good.” He watched another 1 of my kids get a knockout. He said, “oh yeah that’s one of his sons.” Then Rock came in and beat a kid. He said, “that’s a good coach.” So instead of you writing, “the Olympic team this and that”, I think maybe they should have their coaches. Go back to the last guys that got your gold medals or the last guys that have shown you productivity. Oscar is a freak of nature and an outstanding kid. David Reid had his coach in his corner with him. Chris Byrd had his dad in his corner when he won a silver medal. I’ve proposed to the USA committee that they make the coaches pay their own way out if they have to. I heard a coach comment in the corner about what I was telling my fighter and what did it have to do with boxing? You know what I’d like to say to that guy, and I’m glad you’re giving me the forum, none of your business. It wasn’t your business what it had to do with boxing. My fighter knows what I’m talking about. You can come to the corner and say, “Dudleydoright.”  That athlete knows exactly what I’m talking about.

PC: Was it solely because of the relationship you have with Bernard the reason you took Rock to Golden Boy?

NR: Golden Boy is doing their thing. That’s why I took my son to them. I saw what they had established and I saw the credibility. I’ll say this until they start paying me for the slogan. They’re the only promotional company that knows what it feels like to be punched in the face. That’s why I leaned that way. I won’t take anything away from none of the other top dogs, but at Golden Boy, I saw the youth and what they can do in the future. I have another kid that may not fit Golden Boy. For me to not look across the room and think Top Rank, Main Events or Don King not doing an outstanding job is crazy. I don’t knock them.

PC: I know Vernon Forrest is your man. What did you think of his fight with Ike Quartey?

NR: Vernon is my man. I’ve been digging Vernon since the amateurs. I can see where people say they disagree with the decision. I understand. One thing I would say after going over the fight, and you always hear Teddy Atlas say this, Vernon went back to his amateur pedigree. Oscar did it to Bernard early. Well schooled amateurs know how to steal fights. They know how to go to that amateur format. That’s a gift that they have earned for going through that hard amateur program. That amateur program is a heart breaker. You come to the corner after beating a dude to death and they tell you that you landed 3 punches. That’s some discouraging stuff. Right now, Sechew Powell should be pretty proud of himself. If that fight was in the amateurs and they tell him afterwards he only landed 10 punches, he would be ready to jump off a building.