Philadelphia’s Naazim Richardson had long been a fixture in Bernard Hopkins’ corner, serving as his lead trainer for years. Therefore it surprised many that Hopkins didn’t reach out to Richardson to take the helm for his final outing against Joe Smith Jr., instead hiring John David Jackson for the assignment.
Richardson refused to take any shots at Hopkins before the fight based on his decision, and he’s certainly not taking any shots at the future Hall of Famer after he was knocked out of the ring, unceremoniously ending his lengthy career.
In an interview with FightHype, Richardson shares some of his thoughts about not being apart of Bernard Hopkins’ final training camp and fight.
“Maybe Allah didn't want me to be a part of that. And from what I heard he was doing in the gym, I probably would have gotten fired anyway because I would have spoke out against it. That probably would have got me shipped out. Couple of people told me they saw him getting touched with everything that was thrown in the gym, but nobody is going to say nothing. Bernard will give you a long speech about why he got touched in the gym and by the time he finished talking, it'll be right. I'm just glad he didn't get seriously hurt.”
Richardson, who always conducts himself as a respectable and upstanding individual, still wishes Hopkins nothing but the best in the next chapter of his life.
“I hope he finds what he's looking for. I'm still not going to badmouth him or anything like that. You can stand over me while I'm down with a stroke and badmouth me, but with the will of Allah, I'll stand up from a stroke and run across the room in the long run. I don't mind if you kick me while I'm down because I plan on getting up, but I refuse to kick a person when they're at their lowest moment.”