In a recent interview with Tha Boxing Voice, live at the Bernard Hopkins v. Tavoris Cloud press conference, trainer of Hopkins among multitudes of other fighters, Nazim Richardson gave us some insight as to how he thinks Bernard will win this fight.
During the press conference Tavoris Cloud proclaimed that he was going to throw a lot of punches and wear the elder Hopkins down. As a fight fan who has been watching Bernard Hopkins closely as long as I have been watching boxing, I was struck by this comment. I have always known Hopkins to be a very meticulous counter puncher, Brother Nazim agreed and told us that, “One of the biggest criticisms about Bernard is that he is old, the trend in boxing is a lot of punches now, and you don’t see precision anymore. If you watched Marquez, he did not throw a lot of punches, he figures he isn’t going to out-busy the guy with a lot of punches, these guys who are meticulous are old school. But look at the punch stats, where are those punches landing?”
Brother Nazim is also the trainer of Heavyweight Steve Cunningham, who lost a very controversial decision to Tomasz Adamek in December of 2012. There was an outrage over the decision as Cunningham was seen by many as the clear winner of the fight. That fight took place in Bethlehem, PA, not far from both Cunningham and Hopkins’ hometown of Philadelphia.
2012 has been a rocky year for the scorecards in boxing. With Manny Pacquaio getting robbed against Timothy Bradley as the most high profile example, there were far to many others to list. When asked if this is something Brother Nazim worries about happening to Hopkins in this fight, he feels that, although unfortunate, that it isn’t always a worry when stepping into the ring. “If we keep that in our mind, we would bring a negative attitude to camp, and work to try to avoid the decision, if you could knock them all out, you would. The thing about Steve’s situation is like Bernard’s draw against Jean Pascal, The world saw it, and like I told Steve it doesn’t make it better but at least the world saw it.”
The last trip to the ring for the pair together was in April of 2012 as Hopkins fought a rematch with Chad Dawson. Hopkins lost the decision, and rightfully so. When asked about the performance he replied, “It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth because Chad is one of the few young guys I feel Bernard can beat, I like Chad but the way Chad boxes, he is reluctant like he lacks passion; like he’s been doing it for so long there’s not much else he can do to make this kind of money. But Bernard didn’t do enough to convince the young man or the judges.”
As for this fight, the game plan is different. “Its different for every fight, Chad, I don’t like fights like that for Bernard because it’s a double edge sword. This kid (Cloud) is a danger, if you look at Bernard’s history; he performs better. the more dangerous the fighter is, the better Bernard does.”