“I’m proud to say I knew the man. I’m honored to say I had a personal communication and I’m fortunate to be able to say that I got to see him work.”—Naazim Richardson
Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – This is Part Three of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of a remarkable individual, Emanuel Steward, whose extraordinary contributions to the boxing world spanned sixty years. In this installment, trainer Naazim Richardson provided his perspective and shared some of his experiences with the legendary Hall of Fame trainer. Here is a complete transcript from my discussion with Naazim:
GEOFFREY CIANI: Naazim, it was a sad day for boxing and we lost one of our greatest ambassadors in the sport when Emanuel Steward passed away nearly two weeks ago. I’m wondering if you could share your personal views on the impact that Emanuel had on boxing?
NAAZIM RICHARDSON: Well like you said, Emanuel was a great ambassador for the sport and a very intricate part of the sport as we know it in the last few years, and he touched on all facets of it in that he was, you know a commentator, trainer, manager, promoter. He was just in every detail of the sport, and like I’ve said, it’s a great loss but it’s one of those situations where we lose, but in a sense there’s a piece of Emanuel that’s going to exist forever in the sport from when he sat down and what he let the world share from the Kronk’s Gym on to when he was analyzing the fights as a commentator. So he’ll be with us as long as the sport is around.
CIANI: One of the things I remember that Emanuel said about you once, it was when he was still training Chad Dawson and he was looking forward to the challenge of going up against you, and Bernard, and all of the great boxing minds from your corner. He actually said it reminded him of when he was training Evander Holyfield and he had to go up against the old school corner led by Eddie Futch. One of the things Naazim, you’re known as a great preparer of your fighters, and I’m wondering if you could tell the fans out there how you gauge Emanuel when it came to preparing his fighters to give them their best chance at victory?