By: Hans Themistode
Trainers in the sport of boxing play a vital role in the development of a fighter. Whether they are teaching them the fundamentals or implementing a game plan, trainers are of the utmost importance.
In the case of legendary trainer Naazim Richardson however, he was much more than that, and that is why the news of his passing has hurt the boxing community to its very core.
Richardson passed away early Friday morning at the age of 54. The cause of his death has not yet been reported, but with the extremely poignant news, the boxing world began to flood the social media timelines with tributes to the fallen legend.
Richardson was a devote Muslim who went by “Brother Naazim”. He worked with hall of fame fighters such as Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins. Richardson led his fighters to some of the biggest wins of their careers and allowed them to stay cool under pressure.
His corner work was second to none as he not only gave clear and coherent advice, but also gave the sort of sound bites that will forever be a part of boxing history.
Growing up in the streets of Philadelphia wasn’t easy for Richardson as he was homeless at the age of 14. However, he used the sport of boxing to put his life back together and became a staple in his community.
Richardson not only shared his advice and mentorship with his fighters, but he also did the same with his son Rock Allen. The Jr welterweight prospect was seemingly on his way to a promising career as he went undefeated through 15 career fights. Unfortunately, his dreams were cut short due to a car accident.
Richardson was all business inside of the ring. He took a no nonsense attitude, but had a much softer side as well. An example of this would be when he spoke of the 2011 contest between his fighter Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. Richardson’s fighter would come up short during their bout, losing via unanimous decision, but more than anything, he would always have a good laugh when he explained the exchange he had with Pacquiao before the contest took place.
Richardson received the highest of praises when spoken upon by other fighters. Sadly for the sport of boxing, he was taken away much sooner than anyone could have anticipated.
The news of his passing is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, his impact on the sport will never be forgotten.
Rest in paradise Brother Naazim.