Exclusive Interview with Brother Naazim Richardson Part 1

By Percy Crawford


Exclusive Interview with Brother Naazim Richardson Part 1

Boxingtalk's Percy Crawford recently caught up with Brother Naazim Richardson and you don't want to miss what he had to say about Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr. and more. Brother Naazim mentions that the last two times he called, Hopkins was headed to the gym. Is Hopkins officially retired? Is there a possibility for a Hopkins-Jones rematch in the future? Check it out!

Percy Crawford: How is everything going Brother Naazim?

Naazim Richardson: Everything is still the same. Holding on man.

PC: I know you love teaching the younger fighters the game of boxing, but what would it take for you to take on another marquee fighter?

NR: I’m glad you bring that point up. I feel as though there are two assessments we have to add as athletes and trainers. You hear people say, “they’re great trainers.” I don’t take anything away from them, but I look at trainers like the great Al Fennell who took Robert “Bam-Bam” Hines as an amateur kid and then put a title around his waist as a professional. Again, I’m not belittling anybody, but some of these guys are instant champions, you just have to add water. So yeah, I would be willing to teach anybody because I enjoy it and I enjoy the sport. I hold a lot of respect for these trainers that help develop fighters.

PC: You talked last time we spoke about guys stealing fighters…

NR: (cutting in) Definitely! If I were to train someone like what we just talked about, I would like to talk to them about what the past situation was about. I’ve seen people just literally steal fighters. I mean on a good day, you could steal a man’s wife. If the argument between them was heated enough, then you could slide right in. See fighters are temperamental guys. They will get into an argument with their trainer after coming off a loss and then you got a guy coming to tell them how great they look. Next thing you know, he’s standing there with a towel on his shoulder showing him the same hook you showed him 7 years ago.

PC: Who are some of the trainers you came up under?

NR: Great teachers. Al Fennell, the late Mr. Pete Tucker, Stan Williams, and Bouie Fisher. These guys were legends. Their legacy wasn’t off a lot of fighters, but the fighters they had they really knew. Stan Williams never gets his credit for what he did with Nate Miller, taking him to the WBA Cruiserweight Title. I’m glad you brought that up because I like to mention that guy.

PC: You were in Idaho for the Jones-Badi fight. I know you are not Badi’s trainer, but you did some work with him. How do you think Roy looked and what could Badi have done differently to change the outcome of the fight?

NR: Prince had a safety net where he could’ve just turned it into a dog fight. It’s not too much Roy would’ve been able to do about it, which was evident from the first round.

PC: I know you read B-Talk. What did you think of Roy’s statement, “If I don’t get Hopkins or Tarver again, I’m good because Hopkins’ and Tarvers’ guys were in Badi’s corner.”

NR: I did catch those statements. I have a great deal of respect for what Roy Jones has done for the sport. I don’t disrespect athletes, but in my opinion, that’s about as close as he should get to those two guys…dealing with us through another athlete. Yeah, I beat Tiger Woods because that guy had Tiger Woods’ caddy.

PC: So you believe pressure is the key to beat Roy?

NR: Yes. Badi should’ve sustained his attack. You always hear guys say war, but in war, you have to be ready for everything. I know Badi was having some breathing problems, but you got to hold respect for those guys over in Iraq. Those cats are in war. I watch Tyrell Biggs fight to the finish with a broken collar bone, Bernard Hopkins be picked up and slammed and finish a fight with one hand – that’s war. You look at Gatti and Diego Corrales and Castillo – they show you that guys are still willing to go to the gutter in these fights. 

PC: Roy has made it clear that he would entertain a rematch with Bernard Hopkins. I know you want Bernard to stay retired, but is a Jones rematch something that will stir up the Hopkins camp?

NR:  I would support Bernard’s decision. This is not a fighter who’s been taking extreme punishment. When people start talking $20-$25 million, there are certain animals I would fight in the Philadelphia Zoo for $25 million. It’s funny because when Nard was trying to get his face into the limelight, no one breathed his name loud. It’s like they say, “whistling through the graveyard.”

PC: So you would train Bernard for that fight?

NR: If Bernard called, I would answer my phone, but it’s just Roy talking right now. It’s been a long time since my brother had a win. He’s enjoying it. You kind of have to let him go. It’s like giving a kid chocolate; when you go home it’s kind of unfair to make them try to go to bed.

PC: Speaking of Hopkins, how is the old man doing in retirement? And how often do you guys speak?

NR: I don’t catch up to him a whole lot because even though he’s retired from fighting, he’s still on the move. I’ve only been to Philadelphia about 4 days since we left to go to New Orleans to set up camp for Tarver. So each time I got to him, he was ripping and running. I tell you one thing, he’ll probably get upset with me if I say it, but that’s his business…two of the times he called me he was headed towards the gym. I don’t want the public to think he’s back; it’s just in his nature. This guy is going to be 55 years old and see me in the market and ask if I have my pads.

PC: Do you think Hopkins still be a gym rat motivating the younger guys with Golden Boy?

NR: Yes. It’s good that he keeps that side of him alive. You got to watch these Golden Boy cats, they’re motivating each other. Barrera comes off and then Oscar sees what he did and takes it up a notch then Shane comes back and Bernard follows that. They’re pushing each other to certain heights and it’s exciting and I’m not sure we’re appreciating it.


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