Hopkins said Richardson not capable of training him
Bernard Hopkins hinted cryptically that former longtime trainer Naazim Richardson is not able to work his corner because of a personal situation. Thus, Hopkins, 51, is now following the instructions of John David Jackson for his farewell fight with Joe Smith Jr. on Dec. 17 at The Forum in Inglewood, California on HBO.
“We came to a decision that I think Naazim is not capable of working in this fight because of his situation, personally,” Hopkins said on a conference call on Wednesday. “And I didn’t want to be in a situation where I felt that I have to guess or have to scramble later on down the line. So to me, it was really a hand fitting in the glove when it comes to having my options to be with John David Jackson. I’m in good hands.”
Hopkins declined to elaborate on why Richardson wasn’t capable of working this fight. “No, he will,” Hopkins said, suggesting it’s better to ask Richardson directly instead. So it’s unclear if Hopkins was referring to a stroke that Richardson suffered in 2007, from which he came back from to work Hopkins corner a number of times. Or if there was something else. Richardson didn’t immediately return a message for comment. But he told RingTV.com on Monday he was waiting to get a call from Hopkins to start training and that he continues to train fighters.