By Luis Sandoval
Renowned Philadelphia trainer Naazim Richardson is never at a loss for words and often blesses those who interview him with great insight you simply can’t find anywhere else. Aside from being a top trainer, Richardson has experienced and seen a lot in the sport of boxing. He’s had the privilege of seeing some of today’s biggest stars when they were just starting out and trying to make it to the levels they’ve reached today.
One of the fighters Naazim saw coming up was today’s current pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather is regarded as the best fighter in the sport but even he isn’t without his share of detractors.
Mayweather’s skill set is what separates him from everyone else so I asked Richardson if he thought what made Floyd who he is today simply God given talent, hard work or a combination of both.
“It's a combination of even more than that. For a guy like Floyd it’s a combination of natural talent, genetics, intelligence, focus, discipline. Like I told ya'll years ago, great fighters mislead you. Great fighters mislead you because we think one way about them when we see them and they're actually something else. Floyd does so much talking, ya'll just see him as this young punk dude off the street that 'one day somebody's going to give him his!'. And ya'll keep thinking that not realizing this kid is a genius at what he does man” Richardson would tell BoxingScene.
“He’s not just running his mouth. This kid trains harder than most fighters. He's focused he's disciplined and he's a student of the game. He pays attention to everything in and outside of the ring. He's special man. He's a special fighter. Floyd is one of the elite special talented athletes. Elite.”
There have always been fighters who possessed talent but the talent alone wasn’t enough to make them into super stars. We’ve seen fan friendly fighters who may not have the best skill set become successful based off their excitement alone. Mayweather on the other hand is one of the rare exceptions where he’s both talented and has become one of the biggest stars the sports has seen in terms of money generated and popularity.
Richardson broke down what Mayweather has been able to do and what other young fighters who hope to one day be in his position need to know.
“Right now Floyd is at two places where you know you're the elite of boxing. One - and everyone young fighters should listen to this because it’s what every young fighter is looking to achieve - your ultimate goal in professional boxing is to reach a level to where people pay to come see you fight. And they're asking people on the way to the fight 'So who's this guy he's fighting?'. Now ya'll remember the few guys we've known like that. Remember with Mike Tyson [people would ask] 'Who's this kid Mike Tyson is getting ready to fight??’ There have been a few guys that have held that prestigious place. The other thing is when we start comparing the guys who lost to this guy to fight each other. 'Well you know Canelo did better than Shane. Canelo did better than so and so, they should fight now!'. That kind of thing. We know Mayweather has reached both of those levels” said Richardson.
A mega fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is already set for September 14th as Mayweather will once again be involved in one of the biggest fights the sport can deliver at the moment.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene Radio, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.