(transcribed by Michael Readman) In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with trainer Naazim Richardson, I get his thoughts on a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, and what he thinks would happen if the two were to fight today. Naazim also talks about the possibility of Mayweather facing Miguel Cotto, and how he thinks that fight would go. Additionally Naazim shares his final thoughts on Bernard Hopkins’ upcoming bout with Sergey Kovalev. Here is what Naazim Richardson had to say.
Jenna J: At this point from what you’ve seen from both, and both fighters have changed a little bit as they’ve gotten older. What would you think would happen now?
Naazim Richardson: Right about now, this is the closest I can call it with this last one. There was a time that I thought early when they first started talking about the fight, I thought Pacquiao would have won. I really think Pacquiao would have won, and I thought he would have won going away.
Later on as time went on, I thought Mayweather would have won, but now we’re at a point where I couldn’t really tell, I ain’t even thought about them two fighting each other like that any more. When they first started talking about it, when Pacquiao was fighting Cotto and them guys, right about that time I made a comment about it in the media. I said “Klitschko would win, but it wouldn’t be easy, against Pacquiao.” When he beat Cotto and them, I was like, “Klitschko will beat him but it won’t be easy.”
Pacquiao was a pure monster before. He was fast, he was agile and he was punching as hard as a son of a gun. Later on as time went on Floyd looked like he sharpened his thing up even more to an impressive level, I felt like Floyd would have got past him.
Now Floyd’s getting a little older and Pacquiao’s gotten a little older, there ain’t no telling where it goes now, I haven’t given it any real energy now. I’m a fan of both of them guys and I appreciate both of them and I appreciate what they’ve have done for our sport.
Jenna J: What do you think Floyd should do to close his career then? He has two more fights and that’s it, he doesn’t want to fight beyond those two. What do you think he should do?
Naazim Richardson: He’ll close his career in the fiftieth fight, he fights that fifty year old man(Bernard Hopkins). He should fight that fifty year old man and see what happens.
Jenna J: So you think he should fight Bernard Hopkins to end his career?
Naazim Richardson: Somebody brought that up a while back, it was some fantasy stuff, Bernard drops two weight classes, Floyd comes up two weight classes. It’s something to talk about.
Jenna J: It is, but realistically we know he would never take that risk, so what would you see as a viable fight for Floyd towards the end?
Naazim Richardson: What can he do? Mayweather is doing what B-Hop did, which is to fight the next generation. You can’t just kind of put your toe in there, when you put your toe in the next generation, they will start calling you out. Bernard stuck around and fought a couple of different generations, but he was having to put his toe in there and fought the guys from that generation, he had to close it out.
When Floyd go in there and start messing with Keith Thurman or lets say he fights Kell Brook, what they gonna say? They’re gonna jump on Keith Thurman and say “Well, you fought Kell Brook, you gotta fight me,” and then you go into the next generation.
Jenna J: Do you think he gains anything from revisiting a fight with Miguel Cotto at this point?
Naazim Richardson: The Miguel Cotto fight, you can bring out all the conversations, people are gonna say, “Miguel beat Sergio Martinez, but was Sergio damaged, or was Miguel looking that good?” Miguel gave Floyd a run for his money.
You never really remember anybody gave Floyd a run for his money at the end of his career, I’m gonna have to bring Oscar’s ass out of retirement. But all I’m saying is, the man and his people are competent, he’s been flawless throughout his career thus far, he’ll make the right decision, I’m sure for the last two.
Jenna J: Naazim, Pacquiao has got a fight with Chris Algieri right ahead of him and some people are saying that might be tougher than expected. What do you think?
Naazim Richardson: It’s gonna be a good fight. Chris Algieri is nothing easy, he’s nothing to be taken lightly.
Jenna J: What do you think is gonna happen?
Naazim Richardson: Well, experience, I’ve always leaned towards experience and that’s heavily favored for Pacquiao. But Chris Algieri, we fought on cards with him, this kids conditioning is freakish and he never says die man, he really, really never says die and that poses a problem with a younger, fresher guy. But I lean towards experience; Pacquiao’s experience should take over the fight and then find a way to get past Chris.
Jenna J: Naazim the fight that Bernard Hopkins has what Sergey Kovalev. What is your official prediction? What do you expect the fans to see happen?
Naazim Richardson: The reason why I go to camp and the reason why I commit to the project is because I feel like we can win. I don’t do predictions because I’m not a prophet, but I feel as though Bernard being the veteran and bringing his experience to the table, he should be able to take advantage and exploit the flaws that are in Kovalev’s armor, the chinks in his armor. I feel like we can exploit those.