Naazim Richardson, a respected longtime trainer from Philadelphia, has died.
The Boxing Writers Association of America confirmed Richardson’s death Friday morning.
Richardson, a devout Muslim who answered to “Brother Naazim,” is most known for training legends Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley. He also worked with former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham and his nephew, lightweight Karl Dargan, who like Hopkins, are Philadelphia natives.
Richardson suffered a stroke in 2007 that temporarily left him unable to speak or walk, but he recovered and came back to train the impressive aforementioned group of fighters. He was mentored by the late Bouie Fisher, whom Richardson replaced as Hopkins’ head trainer once Hopkins and Fisher parted ways during Hopkins’ prime.
Richardson, who left home at 14 and was homeless at times as a teenager, often credited boxing for saving his life. He trained boxers in gyms throughout Philadelphia, most notably Shuler Gym in West Philadelphia.
Richardson’s son, junior welterweight Rock Allen (15-0, 7 KOs), was a top prospect whose career was derailed by serious injuries suffered in a car accident.
Tiger Allen, Rock’s twin brother, went 3-0 as a pro. The light heavyweight had essentially stopped boxing before he suffered lesser injuries in that same car accident.
Richardson was praised throughout the boxing world for his role in the Antonio Margarito hand-wrapping scandal 11 years ago.