By: Boxing Writer Scott Canipe
“RCM: What will it take to beat a Floyd Mayweather?
DC: Let me tell you this, there are ways to beat him but you need more than 12 rounds (laughing). There are certain spots where you have to hit Floyd to stop him from doing what he does best.”
Real Combat Media had the opportunity to interview former WBO light welterweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley. Fresh off of his upset win over Puerto Rican prospect Gabriel Bracero, Corley talked about his amateur career, winning the title, almost knocking out Floyd Mayweather, assisting Shane Mosley to prepare for Manny Pacquiao, and his future plans.
RCM: Congratulations on your latest win over Gabriel Bracero for the NABF light welterweight title! How does it feel to beat a young up-and-coming prospect like that, in his back yard, on short notice, and especially when you were not expected to win by most people?
DC: It feels good to get the decision. I just came off of a fight in Russia against Ruslan Provodnikov, that I won but did not get the decision. I clearly beat him, but did not get the decision. So this win over Bracero definitely feels good.
RCM: It appeared that you gave Bracero a lot of trouble with your southpaw stance and superior experience. Was that the difference in the fight?
DC: Yes! 24 years experience as a boxer was the major factor in the fight on Saturday night.
RCM: You knocked him down three times, were you satisfied with your performance?
DC: I was very satisfied with my performance. I wanted to knock him out, but my manager and trainer told me to settle back down and stick to what led me to get the knockdowns. So I stuck to boxing him.
RCM: Will you give Bracero a rematch and when are you looking to defend your NABF title?
DC: (Laughing) Yeah, I can’t wait until they give me my first opponent. Bracero or whoever. I have already called Lou Dibella and told him that I want the number one contender for my title in the next 45 days.
RCM: I understand you are looking to campaign at lightweight?
DC: I’m going to defend my title at 140, maybe do a tuneup at a catch weight of 137, and then I’m going straight to 135. I can make 135 easy, I weighed 137 for the Bracero fight. After that, I’m going after which ever world champion that hold the titles of the WBA, WBC, IBF, or WBO want to take a chance at fighting me.
RCM: There are some good fighters there: Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Antonio DeMarco, etc. is there anyone in particular that you are calling out?
DC: (Laughing) I would love to have a fight with Marquez. But I’m not going after anybody in particular. Whoever has the belts. If one of the champions will not fight me then I’ll take on anybody in the top five to prove my point that I am a threat!
RCM: U have a very effective southpaw style, in which you use your jab well, have a slick defense, a solid chin, and thunderous power! Sort of a like a mix between Pernell Whitaker and Marvin Hagler. Were there any fighters, when you were coming up, that inspired your style of fighting?
DC: Boy you had to hit it on the nose. (Laughing) I had the chance to spar with Pernell Whitaker when I turned pro in 1997. I learned a lot from Pernell. He is one of the greatest veteran fighters out there. Yes, I mimic a lot of my style based off of Pernell Whitaker; my slickness, my movement, etc. Marvin Hagler is another legendary southpaw that I admired. Great fighter, great punching power, and he always came to fight! I look at me as being a little bit of Pernell and a little bit of Hagler combined together. With me, this is what you get.
RCM: What got you into boxing?
DC: Trophies! When I was 10 years old I used to hang out down at the Kenilworth Parkside Recreation Center in DC. They had a boxing program at this gym and the guys would train from 7 PM to 9 PM. I would look in the window and watch them. The trainer, at that time, was Kenny Mallard. He asked me if I wanted to box and I said “no.” He asked why not? I said because, “I already know how to fight.” He told me boxing was different from street fighting. Boxing is a sport. I asked him, “what do you get if you win.” He took me around and showed me all these trophies. It was exciting to me, because I was a short person. I was always short and my nick name before it was “Chop Chop” was “Duck.” Being a short person, I was never good at basketball and I never really liked any team sports for that matter.
I liked one on one sports, so I figured boxing is one to focus on. I’d rather do that than any other sport. But, the trophies are what drove me to boxing.
RCM: What are some of your memorable moments as an amateur?
DC: My first trophy that I won when I competed in the Junior Olympics. I weighed 65 pounds. When I won the trophy, that was like winning a world championship. I was very happy! If there was a trophy involved that brought out the best in me.
RCM: On June 30, 2001, you won the WBO light welterweight championship by knocking out Felix Flores in the first round. What can you tell us about that fight?
DC: I took the title shot on a seven day notice. My manager and trainer told me, “Chop, we have an opportunity, you can fight for a world title, but the fight happens in seven days.” I said “Okay, I’ll take it.” I went out there and I was on fire. I won impressively, because I had already been training in the gym. When opportunity knocks at the door, you have to always be ready and I was ready.
RCM: You were a superb amateur, the 1995 National Golden gloves light welterweight champion, was a WBO world champion, and have fought many great fighters during your career. What would you consider your greatest accomplishment?
DC: My greatest accomplishment through all of this time is to be where I am now; to think clearly and have my speech intact. To be able to play with my kids and enjoy life.
RCM: You were the 1995 National Golden gloves light welterweight champion at 139 pounds. In this last fight against Bracero you weighed 137 pounds. You are 37 years old. It is amazing that throughout your career your weight remains constant. What is your secret to staying so fit and on point with your weight?
DC: My kids and my wife keep me young and fit (Laughing). I eat pretty much whatever I want to eat, because my metabolism is high. I don’t turn anything down when it comes to food except for my collar. But, I don’t eat pig’s feet (laughing). I don’t diet, I don’t take any supplements, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t club, I don’t party. I enjoy time with my wife and kids. I just enjoy life.
RCM: Chop Chop it can’t be that easy? For you to be able to take these fights on such short notice and win, you have to be doing something else. LOL!
DC: (Chuckle) I stay in the gym everyday to remain sharp and am always prepared. I have a gym in my basement and I am in there everyday. I do road work every day, I do the weights, shadowbox, jump rope, etc. I’m constantly exercising. That is the only way that I’m going to be able to compete with these young fighters and at a world-class level.
RCM: Your resume is very impressive. You have fought a “Who’s Who” in the light welterweight and welterweight divisions. Every style imaginable. Power punchers like Randall Bailey, Freddie Hernandez, and Marcos Maidana. Skilled and accurate fighters like Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather, plus Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, etc. Who was your toughest and most difficult competitor?
DC: The toughest was Floyd Mayweather.
RCM: What can you tell us about that fight?
DC: I was trying to hit him in certain spots to neutralize him. Pernell Whitaker taught me that. Floyd has a very good jab and his left hand, in general, is also very good. My game plan, when we fought, was to neutralize his left hand. I was jabbing him in the muscle trying to make his arm numb so he would not be able to throw the jab. But, I could not do it often enough. I was not concerned by the power of Floyd at 140. But it was his speed and technique that made the difference in the fight.
I was trying to land that homerun punch one more time (in the fourth round Corley severely hurt Mayweather with a right hook). I just knew I could catch him again, but he is so skillful, I could not land again. I tried and tried, but I could not land that bomb again. He is so skilled and his technique is so exceptional, I could not do it.
RCM: What will it take to beat a Floyd Mayweather?
DC: Let me tell you this, there are ways to beat him, but you need more than 12 rounds (laughing). There are certain spots where you have to hit Floyd to stop him from doing what he does best. Any fighter can be beaten on any given day, but I think you would have to be on something to beat Floyd (laughing). I don’t think a natural fighter can do it. The way he adapts and makes adjustments is incredible. And once he adapts and makes those adjustments, he has already frustrated you with his skill. He does a lot of little things that go unnoticed. He frustrates his opponents. He is a master of getting you out of your rhythm and dictating the tempo of the fight. He is now in control, and when he is in control you are out of control.
DC: I was brought in, because I am a southpaw like Manny. Nazim Richardson had the perfect game plan going into the Pacquiao fight. One of the key ways to beat Manny Pacquiao is to constantly keep him turning. In camp, Nazim had Shane constantly working on moving to his left to keep Manny Pacquiao circling. Pacquiao has problems when a fighter turns him and does not stay in front of him. The game plan was for Shane to shoot the right-hand, the left hook, then pivot around Manny’s right foot. Shane landed some good right hands in the 1st 2 rounds, but when he got dropped in the third, he froze up and went cold turkey. Shane ran from Manny Pacquiao for the rest of the fight. But Manny hits very hard!
DC: If it does, I think that it would be bigger than Ali vs Frazier. They would have to have a venue that would seat at least 100,000. It would be huge!
RCM: In an earlier question, I alluded to the fact that you have fought some highly decorated professional fighters. Were there any others that you never faced but wanted to.
DC: I wanted to fight Diego Corrales. I wanted to fight José Luis Castillo. Kostya Tszyu and Sharmba Mitchell are the other two that I wanted to match my skills against. I have sparred with both Sharmba and Tszyu but never fought them professionally. Sharmba and I had a little beef at the time (chuckle). We were both DC rivalries. Those were the top four guys that I wanted to fight when I was coming up.
RCM: I understand that you have an clothing and shoe line?
DC: Yes, I have my own company called “Corley’s Sports Apparel.” At this point we have just developed boxing shoes. I am the first professional boxer that customizes his own shoes. Eventually, when I get the website up we will be offering to the public various items such as polo shirts, sweat suits, various boxing apparel, T-shirts, shoes, hats, etc. The shoes are selling really well. People can contact me on my Facebook page to get the shoes and we ship them right out. All they have to do is inbox me. I also do Western Union. The blue shoes are selling better than the other colors.
RCM: In closing, is there anything you would like to say to your fans and the people that have followed your career?
DC: I want to thank everyone that has supported me and congratulating me on this recent victory over Gabriel Bracero. Be on the lookout for a documentary about my life and a book that I am writing. It will be a story behind me winning my fights, the trials and tribulations that I endured. My story will blow your mind, and I am going to get it out to the public. Be on the lookout for 2012, it’s going to be a great year for DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley.
RCM: Thank you Mr. Corley, the pleasure was all mine.
DC: Thank you Scott.
If anyone is interested in purchasing some of his custom-made shoes designed personally by DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, please contact him via Facebook at this link: here
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