Exclusive Interview: Nasseem Richardson Part 1

By Percy Crawford


Exclusive Interview: Nasseem Richardson Part 1

Percy Crawford: How you doing Brother Nasseem?

Naazim Richardson: Holding on with both hands man!

PC: Let’s talk about the amateurs you work with for a minute. How is working with the Olympic teams?

NR: Well the thing is, in the amateurs everyone got robbed. Somebody lost. I was at the last 2 and I saw people lose. Things happen where I couldn’t work the corner, but we lost. Andre Ward went through the same adversities and he won and I’m proud of him.

PC: Working with the Olympic teams, the younger fighters, how important is it to be honest in the corner?

NR: It goes both ways. You can tell if someone is phony. If a fighter gets rocked and comes back to the corner and says “oh he can’t punch!”, you know you’re dealing with a phony fighter. If a trainer says to his fighter, “this guy is nothing,” and the guy has 3 titles wrapped around him, you can’t fully trust that trainer.

PC: Do you think its added pressure to the amateur fighters nowadays with the big contract offers?

NR: Percy, I’m going to give it to you straight man. It’s a very touchy subject. Guys have been trying to steal my fighters since they were 10 or 11 years old. These guys make calls behind my back, and I commend Rock and my other fighters because that’s hard on a young guy. Rock knows we can argue about anything, but I’ll never lose the respect I have for him.

PC: Any of your fighters you want to put the world on notice of?

NR: All of them. We’re called “The Concrete Jungle Boxing Tribe.”

PC: What are your general thoughts on father and son duos in boxing?

NR: I applaud Yoel Judah, Jack Mosley, Mayweather’s uncle and father. It’ hard for any trainer who shows that kind of love. The thing that I don’t like is the contradiction. Every trainer, after the first bit of success, the first thing out their mouth is, he’s like a son to me. Then they turn around and say father and son teams don’t work.

PC: Did you get a chance to see Roy Jones Jr.’s comments on how he didn’t push himself in the 3rd Tarver fight because he knew his dad would get all the credit?

NR: Did he really say that? Nah. Ya’ll slipped that one in on me.

PC: You train your son Rock, so I know you have an opinion on that.

NR: I’ll say this. I don’t get into no one’s business, but it takes a team to train an athlete. All parties involved should get credit for the finished product. Some athletes need to be babysat. Fortunately I worked with Bernard Hopkins who doesn’t have to be babysat, neither does Rock.

PC: So with Bernard…

NR: (cutting in) I would be crazy to take all credit, but I would also be crazy for taking no credit. When I got with Bernard, I just helped him reinvent himself to not just be a destroyer, but a boxer too. That’s what you saw against Trinidad. He already had it, he just needed to be reinvented.

PC: How would you describe the style of your son, Rock, as opposed to someone like Bernard Hopkins?
NR: I have a saying I tell all my fighters, “swim without getting wet.” Rock is a rockem-sockem robot.  Bernard used to be a rockem-sockem robot until he reinveted himself.

PC: How much of the fight is the preparation?

NR: I’ve had the privilege to work with Rock Allen, Prince Badi Ajamu, Bernard Hopkins and Steve Cunnigham and watch how they train with such an animalistic consistency. You can’t criticize an athlete because he’s not your athlete.

Part 2 coming soon. Brother Nasseem talks about the Tarver fight, Bernard Hopkins’ retirement, and more!


Send questions and comments to: nardfan@charter.net