Naazim Richardson was featured on On The Ropes Boxing Radio and gives his insights to two of the bigger fights already on tap for 2016. First, he talks about the rubber match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr., and then he gives his thoughts on Andre Ward taking on Sergey Kovalev later this year.
Beginning with Pacquiao-Bradley III, Richardson breaks down how he sees this fight playing out:
"Bradley is big enough, strong enough, and adept enough as an athlete to outbox Pacquiao, very much like he did in certain rounds in the first fight, but got tricked by the public. I was in the room with people at the Pacquiao-Bradley fight and people said, 'It was close, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a draw,' but after the commentators finished saying 'Pacquiao clearly won the fight.' If he clearly won the fight he would have won the fight.
"Tim Bradley can beat anybody in that weight class. On a good night Bradley can beat anybody in that weight class. I know for a fact that his father instilled a lot of things in him as an amateur. Tim Bradley can fight, he's proven it and he finds a way to win."
Then, when asked about which fight he thinks fans can most look forward to in 2016, Richardson says it's Andre Ward taking on Sergey Kovalev, in a showdown that is supposed to take place in the fourth quarter of of the year:
"They call Ward boring cause he's so smart. But I'm going to tell you a fight the crowd would go see and would love. When they see Kovalev and Ward, they are going to get what they want too.
"See what they don't know is yeah, Kovalev can hurt anybody, but they will be surprised cause Ward can get off the canvas whoop Kovalev's ass. That's the kind of dude Ward is, so they better not sleep on that."
Surprised that he didn't mention Canelo vs. Golovkin?! Well, Richardson has some thoughts on that fight too!
"It's hard for you to get a disappointing fight with Canelo, because Canelo still has a young bull mentality. He fought Cotto, and I'm telling you every punch he threw had murder, death, die on it. He might have done better if he was not trying to annihilate Cotto, he was not even trying to win by knockout, he was trying to annihilate this guy. He was trying to knock the color out of Cotto's hair, and Cotto boxed his ass off.
"I can see Canelo taking the first one, they got to fight more than once, but I can see Canelo stealing the first one because Canelo can box a little bit. He's not the move around guy like people think, that's more for show, but he can box enough for ‘GGG' and he can stand up to some of that stuff because he's such a big dude, I think he can stand up to some of that. In the long run you are liable to see Canelo and Ward fighting for the light heavyweight championship."
This is certainly a bold prediction coming Richardson here. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see a number of other great fight materialize this year.