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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Never-ending grind: Naazim Richardson back in camp with Shane Mosley in Big Bear

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Las Vegas Boxing Examiner | Chris Robinson

Speaking from the downstairs lobby of the Mandalay Bay this past weekend, well respected trainer Naazim Richardson opened up on a myriad of topics. The North Philadelphia native was in Las Vegas with his fighter Bernard Hopkins as they geared up for their heated rematch with Roy Jones Jr. and took time to speak on his relationship with Bernard as well as his duties with other pugilists in Steve Cunningham and ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley.

Even before he had hooked up with Mosley for their January 2009 bout against favored Antonio Margarito, Richardson claims that he had always looked at Shane as a gifted athlete who he would have loved to work with. Speaking further Richardson described Mosley as a ‘great human being who simply knows how to fight his ass off’.

The results of the first Mosley-Richardson pairing were outstanding, as Shane blew through Margarito over nine-lopsided rounds at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was a career-reviving type of win and gave hope to Mosley’s backers that he still had enough left to not only compete but also defeat the very best fighters at 147 pounds.

One concern amongst many in the boxing world was that perhaps Richardson was spreading himself too thin. After Hopkins’ early December win over Enrique Ornelas, Richardson joined Shane in camp in Big Bear as they prepped for a showdown with young titlist Andre Berto in late January. Berto would end up pulling out of the bout less than two weeks before the contest and that opened up doors for a Mayweather-Mosley encounter. But Richardson soon found himself in Miami, Florida with Team Hopkins as they got ready for the Jones rematch and Mosley was left to tend matters on his own.

When asked for his stance on the situation Richardson claims that he checked up with Mosley daily to make sure that training was up to par and that their game plan was still in tact. Richardson pointed to Mosley’s professionalism and long duration in the sport as sure signs that he would still be able to flourish in camp until the two touched bases following the Hopkins-Jones II bout.

While in Nevada Richardson claimed that he was going to leave Las Vegas the Sunday following the Hopkins-Jones rematch to make the most of the precious weeks he had left with Shane. Speaking from Big Bear earlier today, Richardson insists that everything was right where he left it and that the camp is back in an intense but well-paced rhythm.

Look for an in depth, follow-up interview with Richardson later this week where he breaks down all angles to a Mayweather-Mosley confrontation…

Shane Mosley’s connection to Big Bear

Over the years Big Bear, California has played host to fighters from all walks of life looking to make the most of their abilities. During their younger years in the sport both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and former IBF Jr. Middleweight champion Fernando Vargas made the trek up the mountain to train but there has been no fighter with such a loyalty to the area as Mosley.

Shane has trained out of Big Bear since 1996 and has owned property of his own since 2000, including a private home which includes a personal boxing gym. With Mosley in camp this time around are former champion Cunningham, sparring partner Karl ‘Kid Dynamite’ Dargan, fitness trainer Gustavo Satragni, camp coordinator Hassan Abdulrahim Jr., Richardson, head of security Elliot Ness, and his own son and amateur welterweight Shane Mosley Jr.

Mosley’s days typically consist of getting up at 7 in the morning to go running, followed up by work with his fitness trainer and breakfast after that. Mosley later does media interviews and rests during the day while going back to the gym in the evening to train with Richardson and Hassan. The mood in camp is said to be relaxed and focused and the Pomona native seems to be fine-tuning himself for the fight of his life.

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