"I've always liked Sergio Mora and I say this on record right now, to me, Sergio Mora has always been underestimated. I think we've all underappreciated this guy. He's one of those guys that I feel like has never got his proper due. I always thought he was a much more dangerous fighter than people anticipated...Sergio Mora is a real threat and me, I wasn't crazy about this fight and I'm going to tell you why I wasn't crazy about this fight. It's the same situation when Bernard had to fight Enrique Ornelas. There are guys out there that, even if you beat them, you won't get the credit that you deserve because the public don't really know how good these guys are," stated world-class trainer Naazim Richardson as he shared his thoughts about Shane Mosley's upcoming clash with Sergio Mora. Check out what he had to say about the fight, Chad Dawson, Andre Berto and much more.
PC: We left off talking about younger fighters criticizing BHop's performances when they themselves have showed up lackluster. You call this the microwave era, where things come fast for these guys or not at all. I just didn't see any desire in not wanting to lose his 0 in Chad on that particular night.
NR: The thing is...and that's why I give the respect that I give to that young boy Floyd. Floyd used to talk about money and all of that other stuff, but Floyd respects and cherishes that 0 and he protects that 0 at any and all cost. People may say the guy talks too much and man, I have been getting bombarded since the Mosley fight and one time, I had to stop and turn to my son and say, "Do these guys realize we lost?" People have been crazy about that and they talk more about the 2nd round than they talk about the entire fight. But I tell people, "Let me tell you something about Shane Mosley. On his worst night, on the very worst night of his life, he will still bring excitement to a fight." I told you going in you ain't never seen Shane Mosley in a boring fight. He can have the worst night of his life, but at some point and time, he gonna still make the crowd stand up and clap. That's just the dude that he is. And that's what I mean when I say these guys are cut from a different cloth.
I don't know if something was wrong with Chad or not. He mentioned something about his shoulder and the reporter wanted to dig deeper. He may not have wanted to reveal that, knowing he had a rematch coming up and he didn't want people targeting it. We felt from a fan point of view that that wasn't the Chad Dawson we had grown to know. I said a long time ago that Chad Dawson is a champion. I watched the media and everything try to make him a superstar. They want to do interviews and background on the family and all that kind of stuff because we need stars. The stars are leaving. Bernard and these guys are leaving, so they are looking for them, but Chad Dawson is not a star. Chad is a champion. Chad knows how to fight for 12 rounds and he fights very well and up until this point, he had been perfect. You gotta respect that aspect of it. The kid had a bad night. He miscalculated some things perhaps, but we can't make excuses for him because Pascal was on it. I was really impressed with Pascal because even after he got hurt, he got right back to his game plan. The kid looked like he was slowing down and he kind of looked like he just sucked it up and was like, "I need to keep boxing like this and I'm going to keep boxing like this even though I done got a little winded." Those are the characteristic that make champions and that's what he became that night.
PC: When I bumped into Andre Berto after the Mosley/Mayweather fight, he was adamant in saying he would have stopped Mosley that night. What do you think of those comments?
NR: He's young and he's supposed to say that. He's supposed to whistle through the graveyard. Berto has been champion for awhile, had some championship fights, and Berto still hasn't made people believe yet. Berto fans believe, but most of the people that believe in Andre Berto, they believed in him before he became champion. He hasn't won anyone over. I'm going to give you a good comparison. You see, Andre Ward has won people over. A whole lot of people have changed they damn mind about Andre Ward. People that were talking that nonsense about Andre Ward when he got knocked down a few times, they have changed their minds now and now they are like, "Oh yeah, Andre Ward is the truth." So that's the difference. Berto hasn't done that yet. The people that dig Andre Berto, dug him when he wasn't a champion. If you put 11 people on top of a car, they are going to walk past and pick that person that they identify with. Berto still has that audience. Berto hasn't won over dudes who said, "I wasn't sure about the young bull, but now I am." Berto hasn't won that audience over, so he's supposed to say stuff like, "Yeah, I would've stopped Shane that night." Okay, that's cool. I can accept him feeling that way, but I watched my young bull Devon [Alexander] stop Urango and he moved up and fought Berto at a bigger weight and Berto couldn't stop Urango, so it's nothing that leads me to believe that if Devon Alexander could stop Urango, that Berto would have stopped Shane Mosley. He hasn't done anything to make me believe that. I respect him saying it because a young champion should feel that way, and I know him and his trainer Tony, and they do an excellent job. And I respect it because his confidence is in the right place. He's supposed to think like that. This is why this is a competition. His team feels like they would have stopped Shane Mosley that night? Okay, cool. Most people feel like Berto wouldn't have took what Mayweather took in the 2nd round. They have seen people who can't punch as half as hard as Shane do more damage to Berto. If you ask Berto, he's gotta go with, well this and that and this. What makes you think the right hand that Mayweather got hit with, you would have survived? We've seen people who can't punch half as hard as Shane put you on your pockets, you dig what I'm saying? But from most peoples perspective...I have had people come up to me and say, "I thought that young bull Berto would have been work for Shane until I saw him crack Mayweather." They say, "Once I saw him crack Mayweather, I knew that young bull wouldn't have gotten past that."
PC: Moving on to Shane's next fight, he has Sergio Mora in less than a month. How do you view this fight?
NR: I've always liked Sergio Mora and I say this on record right now, to me, Sergio Mora has always been underestimated. I think we've all underappreciated this guy. He's one of those guys that I feel like has never got his proper due. I always thought he was a much more dangerous fighter than people anticipated. Shane is Shane Mosley. I had to tell him the other night. Shaq proved exactly what I told ya'll about Shane. Everything that Shaq wanted, Shane was like, "Okay." Everything that was in favor to Shaq, Shane didn't care. He just goes in there and rumbles. I told him, "Shaq is big enough to hurt you by accident. If you knock Shaq out and he falls on you, he knocks you out." That's how big and strong that dude is. And Shane buzzed him. I was in a zone looking at that man (laughing).
You can't count out the fighter inside of Shane, and what Shane has to understand is that these young bulls, like Sergio Mora and Mayweather, yeah, they gonna say what they have to say when they have to say it, but the bottom line is they are prepared. The thing I respect when I see guys like Mayweather get through with Shane is, they come in there knowing I'm gonna get hurt. They already have a game plan of knowing what they are going to do when they do get hurt. It ain't no question, they gonna get hurt. It's a matter of, can I tie up, can I move, but I know I'm gonna get hurt. With Shane Mosley, you're gonna get hurt, and you may survive it, you may do well, and you may respond, but it won't be a doubt on whether you're going to get hurt or not because you're going to get hurt during the course of that fight.
Sergio Mora and these young boys grew up, Cotto, Mora and Mayweather, these boys grew up watching Shane Mosley, so when they step up to Shane, they step up their game. You will see things out of them that you ain't never seen before when they fighting Shane Mosley because they know they have to. Shane gotta understand that. See, the guys Shane grew up watching are gone. He didn't get to face those guys. He didn't get to face the Ray Leonard's and guys he admired. Oscar was the only thing in his sights and you saw what he did with that. This is one of those things that he gotta understand and this is how these young puppies are coming at him now. And Sergio Mora is a real threat and me, I wasn't crazy about this fight and I'm going to tell you why I wasn't crazy about this fight. It's the same situation when Bernard had to fight Enrique Ornelas. There are guys out there that, even if you beat them, you won't get the credit that you deserve because the public don't really know how good these guys are. If you get a win over them, the public is like, "So!" If Shane can go in and get Sergio Mora out of here, the people in boxing will say, "Okay, good win," but the general public won't remember this dude. They may have heard something about "The Contender," but them "Contender" dudes all run together now. You can't remember which one was which anymore, but Mora is the only one that won a belt out of that crew.
PC: When you're working with a guy like Shane Mosley, who is coming off of a mentally tough loss, what are some of the things you look for in the gym to see if his last fight is truly behind him?
NR: The desire that's in Shane. Shane is so competitive. Me, like I said, I wasn't crazy about picking Mora because I didn't see no sense in picking a middleweight who throws a lot of punches. I don't get it. He's fighting junior middleweight now, but you know this guy is a middleweight.
PC: For sure.
NR: That's why I wasn't crazy about it, but in the same sense, I wouldn't want my guy to be the first guy to fight Shane after a loss. Maybe if I had a young, hot talent that I knew was getting dudes out of there and Shane showed some real kinks and I knew my guy was solid, he would have to be right on the cusp of what was about to go down. If I had that guy, maybe, but I really wouldn't want my guy being the guy on the trail to test that. If Shane ain't ready to go, then you go. You can look at it like, maybe he got old in the Mayweather fight and this and that, but if he ain't ready to go, then you gonna go. I'm telling Shane, you gotta another one of these young bulls who you were his hero coming up and he's going to be working on us, so we gotta be ready for it. He's been showing it in the gym though. Shane is a determined dude man.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]