Prominent Philadelphia trainer Naazim Richardson died Friday
An outpouring of love and sympathy has come on Friday morning with the news that prominent boxing trainer from Philadelphia, Naazim Richardson, has died at the age of 54 .
Few details are known at the moment about the cause of death, but with the news out, the tributes began to flow.
Former multi-division World Champion and Hall of Famer to be, Bernard Hopkins, expressed his sorrow and condolences via Instagram Friday,
“I lost my dad this morning,” Hopkins wrote sorrowfully and succinctly.
Richardson paired up with Hopkins midway through his career and was in his corner for his 12 round World Light Heavyweight Title upset win over Antonio Tarver in June of 2006.
Richardson suffered a stroke two years later and was told he would likely never be able to walk or talk again.
However, he didn’t listen and returned to still work with Hopkins and also, Philadelphia World Cruiserweight Champion, Steve Cunningham in their corners.
Richardson’s most famous moment in a World Championship stage came actually away from the ring in early 2009. That’s, as he was overseeing opponent Antonio Margarito’s hand wrapping, while working the corner for “Sugar Shane” Mosley.
Richardson noticed that the wrap padding laying on the table that had not been used on one of Margarito’s hands was not soft, but had rather been wetted and made firm to essentially make his hands like illegal taped fists.
Richardson legendarily went crazy in protest, threatening to punch Margarito and his trainer, while being restrained. Order was restored, Margarito’s hands were rewrapped legitimately, and Mosley defeated him easily by 9th round TKO.
Margarito was given a one year suspension and the maximum $100,000 fine.
Legendary Ring Magazine/website had their tribute:
RIP Brother Nazim Richardson, a class man, a great trainer, a tremendous father pic.twitter.com/PQx7ePZyEA
— Bible of Boxing (@ringmagazine) July 24, 2020
— Raging Babe (@RagingBabe) July 24, 2020
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2014, the man who became known affectionately as “Brother Naazim,” spoke openly of his tough Philly neighborhood upbringing that included dropping out of high school and being jailed. He relayed that served, as a wake-up call for him to get his life in order,
“If you had went back and asked everyone what would happen to me, everyone would pick me to be the one that was dead or in jail,” Richardson said at the time.
Richardson also told the paper then, that he was at working with multiple young fighters at 3 – 4 gyms in Philadelphia sometimes with 12 – 14 hour days for his love of the sport.
Former Undisputed Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champ, Evander Holyfield expressed his condolences,
— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) July 24, 2020
Obviously, Richardson was a beloved figure in the sport and will be significantly missed by many.