Exclusive Interview: Naseem Richardson

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Naseem Richardson

GL:  How is this camp different from other camps Bernard's been in?  "The only thing is that now you can see the maturation of Bernard as an athlete, he has a greater understanding of his body and his body chemistry.  His age is making everything run a little smoother, with great dudes surrounding it.  Everybody in the camp is just great, this team's been together for a second, they know how to work with it.  Everyone is professional in it, so they know how to leave the kid and to give space towards each other."

GL:  Are you concerned with Calzaghe's high output of punches?

NR:  That's the point of interest for everyone.  Over here in the states we're going to have to score accuracy, not energy.  Guys throw a lot of punches on the heavybag, but it's not effective in the fight.  We can't score this guy by activity, we've got to score him by accuracy.  He gets guys behind the eight ball, then they just start scoring what he does.  He throws a lot of punches, but how many of them are accurate?  How many landed effectively?  We're talking about being effective, then they shouldn't be scoring them anyway.  As usual, everybody who comes to the table has their own form of diffuculty, and it's our goal to just solve that puzzle. 

GL:  Three southpaws in a row, is Calzaghe more diffucult than Winky or Tarver?

NR:  Everyone is diffucult in their own mindset, I think it's with Tarver.  Tarver throws his hand more than any other southpaw I've ever seen in my life, but he didn't against Bernard Hopkins.  Winky Wright covers in a turtle shell defense, that's difficult in itself, because the guy not giving you opportunity.  The guy who's punching all the time, can't defend himself at the same time.  His hands can't be in two places at the same time.  If his hands are always flying up against my arms and shoulders, that means that there's nothing back there but pure head.  If a joker come running out the door wondering who's on his lawn, the guys will go around the side windows and go in through the back of his house.  Now they're all in his house.  You've got to have someone home protecting.

GL:  Other than a Hopkins victory, do you have a prediction?

NR:  No, I see it as being successful.  The greatest thing is we have a well prepared athlete.  There's no one who comes with the experience and still has the atleticism that Bernard Hopkins has.  The guys that can move and do the things that he does are all young, they don't have his mindset.  The guys that are older and have his mindset, don't have the agility anymore.  We keep talking about how complicated Calzaghe is, they don't realize Calzaghe has to figure the puzzle that Bernard is.  They've got to solve that, Calzaghe's never seen anything similar to Bernard Hopkins.  Not like Bernard Hopkins, he hasn't seen anything similar to him.  It's going to be about making adjustments, and who can turn the other's disadvantages into advantages.  Bernard has taken the test before and passed with flying colors.  My thing with Calzaghe is that every atlete he's ever fought, Calzaghe was the bigger test.  He was really their crossroads, he was the fight that determined if they were great athletes.  He's never faced anybody that's been in the ring with great athletes.


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