In a year that has been hit hard by the deaths of a number of notables from the sport, yet more sad news has unfortunately emerged. Early reports (WBN broke the news) say great trainer Naazim Richardson has passed away. No confirmation has thus far been forthcoming as to the cause of death. This news has come right out of the blue and it is as sad as it is shocking.
Philadelphia’s Richardson is of course best known for his work with all-time great Bernard Hopkins, Naazim also working with Sugar Shane Mosley and Steve Cunningham, as well as working the corner for Yusaf Mack and Sergio Martinez. An incredibly wise and knowledgeable trainer, Richardson may well have been the last great, old-school trainer. And now he has gone.
Richardson – who suffered a stroke in 2007 yet made a full recovery – was of course the man who busted Antonio Margarito when the Mexican tried to load his hand-wraps going into the fight with Mosley in 2009. Nothing got past Naazim, this attempt at blatant cheating included. Just imagine if a less observant, a less on top of things trainer had been working with Mosley that day.
Richardson, a devout Muslim, was no ego-driven trainer who liked the sound of his own voice in the gym and in the corner, no, he was a class act all the way. Just ask anyone who knew him. Tributes are sure to come flooding in once the news becomes more widespread. The great fighters Naazim worked with and trained are sure to have plenty of heartfelt words for their fallen coach once they hear the sad news.
The Boxing Writers Association of America’s written tribute to Naazim reads as follows:
“The BWAA and the boxing community mourns the death of the great Naazim Richardson. RIP Brother Nazim, a class man, a great trainer, a tremendous father.”
It’s an oft-used line, but there really will never be another Naazim Richardson. Our condolences go out to Naazim’s family and friends at this sad time.