Nazim Richardson: “If you put it on the scale and it weighs 147, there are certain farm animals that Shane Mosley can knock out”

Mosley vs Mayweatherby Geoffrey Ciani - This week’s edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with highly regarded trainer Nazim Richardson who is currently working with Sugar Shane Mosley in preparations for his May 1 clash with Floyd Mayweather Junior. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

On preparations for Mosley’s upcoming fight with Mayweather:
“Well it’s not so much about Floyd, it’s that I have to have Shane be the best Shane Mosley he can be and make Floyd Mayweather have to make the necessary adjustments. I think that’s the problem, too many people are concentrating on Floyd.”

Regarding how he sees the fight between Mosley and Mayweather:
“I see it being the kind of fight that there’s going to be a whole lot of adjustments being made during the fight and nobody is going to be able to live by one philosophy. We’re going to have to vary and change at the drop of a dime. I have to have my athlete prepared for that..

On whether he thinks Shane will be able to prevent Floyd from making adjustments like he did in victories against Oscar De La Hoya and Zab Judah:
“Well see, I have to think from a different perspective. I can’t be to the point of arrogance where I can assume that my guy’s juts going to go and put something out and that Floyd wouldn’t be able to make an adjustment. I wouldn’t be prepared if I did that. I have to be prepared that Floyd’s going to make an adjustment to what we have to do and then we have to readjust so it’s just that kind of fight. It’s like when you play chess, you have to assume the other guy is going to move his rook and going to move his pawn through.”

On whether he believes Shane’s age and long layoff will play a major factor in the fight:
“It’s going to be something we’re going to have to deal with earlier in the first couple of rounds, but his philosophy is that he lives like a boxer so it’s a part of his lifestyle. He’s in shape and he stays in the gym so he should be able to respond pretty quickly.”

On whether he thinks Floyd is ill-prepared to face adversity given he has never faced an elite welterweight before:
“Here’s my thing, I have to cross that bridge when I get to it. I feel as though he’s going to face adversity in this fight and there’s nothing that this kid has done in the past that will make me assume that he can’t adjust. I won’t underestimate the guy like that. One of Floyd’s greatest attributes is that he talks so much stuff and everybody wants to see him punched in the mouth so bad that they just takes him for granted and they look past his actual ability. Oscar (De La Hoya) was one to say he got angry and just wanted to run in there and punch him in the mouth. That’s what threw Oscar off his game plan. I think Ricky Hatton and a few other people have done the same thing. Don’t look past his skills just because he’s running his mouth.”

His thoughts on Floyd Mayweather as a fighter:
“I think he’s very talented. I just had an argument with somebody not too long ago because they were trying to tell me they don’t think much of him as a fighter. They think he’s a runner and this, that, and the other thing and I said, you know I think it’s ignorant to look at him from that perspective. The guy’s been successful with what he does. How can you belittle what he does if he’s been that successful with it? I think one of my strengths in me being able to find success in some of my athletes is that I don’t underestimate guys. I’m not arrogant and I don’t look past a guy’s ability and a guy’s skills. I refuse to do that because I think it’s foolish. Even if I don’t like it—I may not like the way you box—but I can’t ignore that it’s been successful for you. I can’t ignore that it gets judges to vote your way, so I’ve never been like that. I knew a guy, (Joe) Calzaghe—I’ve never cared for the way Calzaghe fights but I have great respect for his achievements.”

On preparing Mosley in his upset victory against Antonio Margarito:
“People were really counting him out in the Margarito fight so when they asked my opinion on it, I felt that he could deal with Margarito. I felt he had so much ability that he could handle Margarito. It’s not so much that I had to change things in him. I’ve always given the credit in full, Jack Mosley taught him how to box and did a hell of a job teaching him how to box. You don’t overhaul an engine if the engine has been running well, you tweak and make little adjustments to have it win that particular race that you’re dealing with, and that’s my job—to find the flaws in Shane Mosley and try to strengthen those and then find the flaws in Floyd Mayweather and try to help Shane Mosley exploit them.”

On what makes him so successful at being a teacher as opposed to being just a trainer:
“Well I admit to you that even as a teacher you have to willing students. You have to have students that accept the philosophy. I think a lot of times I convince my athletes in my credibility so they accept my philosophy and it makes it easier for me to teach.”

His views on Joe Calzaghe:
“It’s hard for us over here to respect Calzaghe’s style because it’s so far different from what we allow our athletes to do here. We won’t allow our athletes to slap with punches. I tell people a lot of times, I applaud Calzaghe’s father because had you brought Joe Calzaghe over here to some of the greatest trainers that live over here, they probably wouldn’t have found the same success with him. I’m talking about some of the all time great trainers. Some of our guys like even the current guys that are out there now, like John David Jackson, Freddie Roach, and people of that nature, Emanuel Steward—they won’t let their guys out of the gym without turning those punches over. So we just wouldn’t accept that style here so it would never have been able to grow and flourish into what he became. We would have probably snuffed that fighter out a long time ago, but his dad being new to boxing he let it slide and it turned out to work. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.”

His views on Manny Pacquiao as a fighter:
“I think Pacquiao is a phenomenal athlete. I’ve said this before and you probably heard me say it before and I’ll say it again: Most great athletes mislead you. Bernard Hopkins is such a ferocious specimen in the way he attacks, in his energy and his attitude, that you forget he’s a technical fighter. He’s actually a technical fighter, he’s not just a monster that tucks his head and runs in and starts fighting, but the way he would speak you would think he just jumps in there and rips people apart, but he’s a technical fighter. He breaks you down and he gets you out of there, but he’s misleading. This kid Mayweather runs his mouth so much that you forget he can actually fight. Since where we come from, most people who run their mouth that much can’t produce like that. As soon as we hear somebody running their mouth as much as him we got to put them into a little room, but this guy can actually fight but he misleads you with that, and he trains hard so he misleads you with that. You get Manny Pacquiao. Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach have purely convinced the boxing world that Pacquiao is only four inches tall and weighs about forty-two ounces. All you ever hear about is how small Manny Pacquiao is. ‘Manny Pacquiao is so small!’ ‘Manny Pacquiao is the teeniest man on earth!’ That’s what you’re convinced of. Then the guy gets in there and gets hit by a shot by Manny Pacquiao and they be standing in the middle of the ring doing the lazzy jazzy. They say, ‘How does this little man do this?’ Calling Manny Pacquiao the smallest welterweight is like calling Mike Tyson a small heavyweight but that’s what great fighters do. Shane Mosley, he smiles and makes you think he’s going to sell you short. How can somebody be that pleasant and that sweet and then be that ferocious on Margarito? He jumped on Margarito that night and Margarito is looking at him like what happened to the smile? So these guys mislead you and I think Freddie does a phenomenal job with him to the point where as though you can intimidate people to think he must be using something. Like I said, if you don’t produce any proof that this guy is on something then I can’t put that out on anybody. I mean the way Michael Jordan jumps you can assume Michael Jordan was using something. There are some athletes that phenomenal, but we got to understand with the human body there are people with the human body who produce things like that, but we can’t just take things out of context. We take away from Freddie, we take away from Manny when we don’t have any proof and we just assume this guy’s doing something, this guy’s done something, this guy’s on something. I think that’s unfair man, because like I said I’ve watched Pacquiao, I’m impressed with him, I’ve watched the work Freddie’s done with him, I’m impressed with Freddie’s work.”

Regarding Bernard Hopkins’ victory in his long awaited rematch with Roy Jones Junior:
“When one guy is reluctant to fight it’s one of the hardest fights to approach especially at Bernard’s age. See when you’re young and a guy doesn’t want to fight you, everybody is screaming all about Pacquiao’s last performance. You got Joshua Clottey and he’s not living up to his 50% of the fight. The fight turns out to start stinking, but you got a younger Pacquiao who can just go ahead and just start throwing punches all over and still make it a fight. Well it’s harder for an older man when a guy doesn’t want to fight. Bernard was in the same position Pacquiao was in only he wasn’t dealing with a guy who was known once as a great talent, but Roy Jones came to that fight not to get knocked out so then he can convince his family and everybody he can move forward and that he’s okay. The Danny Green fight he had his sons and everything checking on you every five seconds in the house. I know how it was after my stroke. ‘Dad, you okay?’ Roy Jones just tripped on the carpet walking down the stairs for breakfast, ‘Oh, it’s those knockouts showing up’, so he had to go back in there with a fighter the magnitude of Bernard Hopkins and show, ‘Look, I got past the first round—erase Danny Green. I got past the second round—erase Antonio Tarver. You all considered Bernard to be the best fighter of these last couple of guys I fought and I went the distance with him.’, and that was his only goal—to go the distance or get disqualified, but not to just come out with a knockout, not to be knocked out.”

His final prediction for Mosley’s fight with Floyd Mayweather:
“I see Shane Mosley getting his hand raised in this particular fight. That’s why I signed on for the project. If I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t be involved in the project and I’ve turned projects down where I just didn’t feel like I could tell a guy anything that would get him past that athlete, so I see Shane Mosley having his hand raised.”

On whether he believes Mosley can knock Mayweather out:
“I think I said it earlier and people think I’m joking when I say it. They think I’m saying it to be humorous. It’s a premiere weight for him. If you put it on the scale and it weighs in at 147, I feel that Shane Mosley can knock it out. If you put it on the scale and it weighs 147, there are certain farm animal that Shane Mosley can knock out if they come in at 147. It’s a premiere weight for him. Now I don’t know, he’s won belts at 154 but I can’t say he’s that great of an athlete at 154. I know at 147 he’s something special, he’s really something special.”


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Article posted on 24.04.2010

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