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Naazim Richardson on Badr Hari: "He Has the Right Mentality"

  • Written by Dave Walsh

Badr HariKickboxing's Bad Boy Badr Hari has made it clear that he intends to make the jump to Heavyweight Boxing after his January 28th fight with Gokhan Saki. He mentioned surrounding himself with the right people, and this recent interview with Naazim Richardson from FightHype.com confirms that Badr Hari and Mike Passenier have been looking into the right people to make Badr Hari's Heavyweight Boxing career happen. Naazim seems to have a certain level of confidence in Badr Hari, but isn't making any big promises yet. Check out the full interview for more.

PC: You recently met with kickboxer Badr Hari and his trainer Mike Passenier. They really wanted to meet you and it happened. He wants to work with you, man. How is that looking?

NR: Badr Hari is a good dude and so is his trainer, Mike. You know, Badr Hari won me over, man. As soon as we met, he told me he wouldn't let me down and that he would make me proud. But that's not what won me over. What won me over is he said, "I don't want to be top 10. I want to be the fucking best." He has the right mentality to do this shit right here. I tell fighters all of the time, "You are not considered great until you beat someone that you weren't supposed to beat." Ali did it several times. Ali wasn't supposed to beat Liston, he wasn't supposed to beat Foreman, and he wasn't supposed to beat Spinks. He proved his greatness over and over again. Foreman did the same thing with Joe Frazier. Joe Frazier did the same thing in his first fight with Ali. So you don't prove your greatness until you win a fight that you weren't supposed to win. This kid Badr has the right mentality to win a lot of fights he's not supposed to win. But he is...how old is he?

PC: He's 26.

NR: Yeah, he thinks like a 26 year old. He feels he's indestructible. I told him this, I said, "You have a trunk of weaponry and you have an army of guys coming up the stairs to get you. Your problem is you don't know if you want to shoot them with the M-16, the AR, the 9MM, the assault rifle, the sawed off shotgun or the M-4. By the time you figure out which one you're going to use, they are already up the stairs and in your shit. See, those two brothers in Europe got one weapon and it's an old shotgun. They sitting on the couch with that shotgun and when that door knob turns, they are shooting you with that shotgun." I told him that's the only difference. Our goal is to figure out when to use all of those weapons because he's going to need them all, but you just have to know when to use them. The Klitschkos utilize the hell out of that one gun they have. I could tell he didn't like the Klitschkos, so I kept talking about them in a positive light to see how he would react. I think this guy has the goods, man. I love the kid's mentality. And he is every bit of 6'6". I got downstairs to where him and Mike were and he stood up, I said, "Damn this kid is a legitimate 6'6"." And something else I told him, whether the Klitschkos are around or not, when he is ready for that level, our job is to make them realize they don't belong. See, Larry Holmes stuck around to try and show Mike Tyson it was still his time. Mike wasn't having that shit. When Mike hit Larry, it looked like someone cut a hole threw the mat and yanked Larry through it. Mike Tyson let him know his time had come and gone and that's what my goal is with Badr. If they want to stick around, we either gotta let them see Badr fight and say, "Hey man, it's time for us to move on," or do what Mike did to Larry and show them it's time for them to move on.

Bouie Fisher used to always tell me in the gym, "Watch that door and eventually the right kid is going to walk through it." I asked him what he meant by that and he said, "One day, a kid is going to walk through that door and do whatever you tell him to do and be able to adjust to anything that you want him to adjust to." I remember when me and Freddie Roach was working together and Freddie told me when Manny Pacquiao walked through the door at Wild Card Gym, he said to himself, "That's who I built this gym for." Freddie was reluctant to work with Pacquiao at first because he knew there wasn't much entity at those lower weight classes, and Manny was a small dude. One day, Manny had no one to hold the mitts for him and asked Freddie to give him 2 rounds, and from that moment on, Freddie knew what he had. Badr Hari could be that type of kid.

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