Jerry Glick reporting: At a recent press conference for the upcoming Golden Boy show scheduled for April 19th at the DC Armory in Washington, DC I had the good fortune to talk to Bernard Hopkin’s trainer, Brother Nazim Richardson as he prepares Hopkins for his fight to unify the IBA, WBA Super, and IBF lightheavyweight belts against Beibut Shumenov in the co-main event. Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin defends his WBO Middleweight title against Lukas Konecny in the co-feature.
Bernard Hopkins is trained by the highly regarded Brother Nazim Richardson who had this to say about preparing his amazing fighter; "Conditioning is different for Bernard," explained Richardson. "Because it’s not conditioning, it’s a lifestyle. Bernard doesn’t get ready for a fight, it’s the lifestyle that he lives. We prepare a game plan for opponents."
Hopkins enters training in shape; in fact one of the trainer’s biggest complaints that he voices to his fighter is that he arrived too small. He doesn’t have to train down to his weight, sometimes he must build to it.
"I tell him, if I bring in the sparring partners now, you’ll go down to a different weight class," added Brother Nazim. "I told him, if you want to fight at middleweight, why don’t you tell us, let me in on it."
As to how long he sees Hopkins fighting, and the promise that he gave his late mother, Nazim feels that Bernard didn’t explain himself well. He is keeping that promise by not getting beaten up. "No one is beating him up. He’s not embarrassing himself in there," said Nazim. "You see some of these young guys picking themselve up off the floor."
There will come a time when even Hopkins must move on; he will quit one day. "I think he must organize an exit stratagy. He needs to let the public know there’s going to be a last showing."
"When he beat Antonio Tarver he said ’What are we going to do next?’ I said you’ve done it all. There’s nothing left to do. I said the only thing you haven’t done in boxing is lose badly, so leave before you’ve done everything in boxing."
Nazim still had faith in Bernard; he believed he could still win, but he wants to see him leave on top. If he did, fighters would call leaving on top doing the B-Hop, "That would forever be his signiture that he left on the sport. That’s what I want."
It can still happen.