Interview: DeMarcus Corley

By Ray Wheatley -World of Boxing

Former WBO light welterweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (51-33-1, 28 KOs) spoke to Peter Maniatis about fights with Zab Judah in the street and in the ring, also world title bouts with Ener Julio, Felix Flores, Randall Bailey, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Lucas Mathysse, Ruslan Provodnikov and also mentions promoters he has worked with and shooting craps in Nashville and Colorado Springs with friends.

ENER JULIO

Ener Julio pushed southpaw Corley to a split decision in 1999 for the USBA title and in the 2002 rematch for the WBO light welterweight title, the Washington DC-based Corley, with trainer Bernard Roach in his corner, won a clear twelve round decision over the six-foot Julio, dropping him in round two and three, that was referee’d by Jorge Alonzo on a Don King promotion in Miami, Florida on January 19, 2002, televised on Showtime.

“I fought Ener Julio in 1999 before I fought him again for the first title defense. I fought him for the USBA title. That was my first twelve round fight. I knew when I fought him again (for the WBO title) it would be much easier than the first time.”

(Corley retained WBO light welterweight title by scores of 117-107, 118-107, 119-105. Julio had points deducted for hitting Corley when he was down from a slip)

FELIX FLORES

Felix Flores was dropped twice in round one by DeMarcus Corley with referee Jay Nady crowning Chop Chop Corley the new WBO light welterweight champion at 2.49 at the Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas promoted by Don King on June 30, 2001, televised on Showtime.

“The Felix Flores KO victory was a great achievement. To defeat him on five days’ notice for the world title – they didn’t expect me to win. Flores was Felix Trinidad’s nephew and he was trained by Poppa Trinidad. He was from Puerto Rico so he had a country behind him. I had my trainer and my family behind me.”

(Corley was crowned new WBO light welterweight champion when referee Jay Nady stopped fight against Felix Flores at 2.49 after the Puerto Rican had been down twice.)

RANDALL BAILEY

Randall Bailey challenged Corley for the WBO light welterweight title at the DC Armory, Washington DC, District of Columbia referee’d by Joe Cooper, promoted by Don King televised on Showtime, on April 4, 2003.

“Randall Bailey was 26-0 with 26 KO’s when I fought him. Everybody knew Bailey was a puncher he was called the KO King. He was putting everybody to sleep. My plan was to box Randall and make him miss with his big right hand and that’s what we did.”

(Corley retained the WBO light welterweight title by outpointing Randall Bailey by scores of 117-111, 117-111, 116-112)

ZAB JUDAH

Zab Judah dropped Corley in round three and went on to win a close twelve round split decision over Chop Chop at the Orleans hotel and casino in Las Vegas on July 12, 2003, with referee Joe Cortez controlling the fight with WBO title up for grabs promoted by Don King, televised on HBO. Judah and Corley went into the fight with shaved eyebrows. Judah had attacked Corley in a street fight six months earlier in Philadelphia.

“Zab Judah was a very intense fight. It was personal for me because of what happened six months before the fight in Philadelphia. We had a fistfight so I went into our fight angry. Don King said why are you fighting at a press conference when you can get in the ring and make some money. Zab and his brother jumped me in Philadelphia.”

(Judah wins twelve round split decision over Corley to win the WBO light welterweight championship by scores of 115-113, 115-112, 113-115)

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR

Pound for pound best Floyd Mayweather Jr was paid $3 million to clash with Corley who was paid $150,000 in a WBC light welterweight elimination bout at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on May 22, 2004. That fight was refereed by Benji Esteves, promoted by Top Rank, and televised on HBO. In preparation for this fight, Corley had been boxing Ricardo Mayorga and Kostya Tszyu in Australia and he gave Mayweather a difficult fight in the early rounds before going down in round eight and ten.

“The Floyd Mayweather fight was great. I had Hall of Famer Don Turner as my trainer. The plan was to make Floyd fight. Floyd is a thinker – he is a boxer. The plan was to make him fight and keep him busy and I can catch him and hurt him and try to knock him out. That’s what we were working on.”

(Mayweather was awarded the twelve round decision over Corley by scores of (119-108, 119-107, 119-108)

MIGUEL COTTO

Miguel Cotto weighed in for the WBO world light welterweight title bout on the limit of 140 pounds against Corley who weighed 137 pounds but on fight night Cotto was 157 pounds and Corley 140 pounds. That fight was controlled by referee Ismael Quinones and promoted by Bob Arum on February 26, 2005, at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

“The Miguel Cotto fight for me was a great experience. He was a very big junior welterweight. He weighed 158 pounds on fight night. The game plan was to catch Cotto in the later rounds. Hurt him and get him in trouble to go for the knockout. He hit me with a good shot on my hip and I wasn’t able to move and the fight got stopped.”

(Cotto retained the WBO light welterweight title when the referee stopped the bout after Corley had been down in round five)

MARCOS MAIDANA

Marcos Maidana was matched with Corley for the WBA interim light welterweight title at Estadio Luna Park, Bueno Aires, Argentina on August 28, 2010, promoted by Edgardo Rosani Moresi refereed by Julio Cesar Alvarado.

“We fought Marcus Maidana in Argentina and I won that fight. Maidana cannot beat a boxer. That was the game plan to box him. I thought I won but when you fight a boxer in his country you got to knock him out.”

(Maidana outpointed Corley for the WBA interim light welterweight crown by scores 115-112, 117-110, 117-110)

LUCAS MATTHYSSE

Lucas Matthysse was matched against Corley for the WBO intercontinental light welterweight title at Las Heras, Mendoza, Argentina on January 21, 2011 promoted by Golden Boy promotions, refereed by Herman Guargardo and televised on HBO.

“Lucas Mathysse was a helluva a puncher. He was too big and I was too small. It was like a Tsunami. He just kept pounding on the little guy.

(Mathysse crowned the winner in round eight after Corley had been on the canvas in rounds 5, 6, 7 and 8.)

RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV

Ruslan Provodnikov was matched against Corley for the WBC Asian light welterweight title on December 5, 2011 at the DIVS, Ekaterinburg, Russia promoted by Titov, RCC Promotions and Pushka Promotions refereed by Viktor Panin.

“I thought I won my fight against Ruslan Provodnikov. I fought him in his country also in Russia. I boxed him. I used ring generalship and lateral movement to win the rounds. I was landing the more effective punches. He threw the harder punches but I was hitting him and not getting hit. It don’t work like that when you go to someone else’s country.”

(Provodnikov was crowned the winner over Corley by scores of 117-111, 118-111, 119-109)

PROMOTERS

“I only worked with three or four promoters. Don King was my first promoter. He started my career in 1996. I stayed with him for six years. When I got released from Don King I went with Lou DiBella. I was with Lou for a couple of fights. I never signed with Golden Boy but I fought a few Golden Boy fighters and a couple of Top Rank fighters.”

STILL ACTIVE

“I was scheduled to fight a bare-knuckle fight next week but my opponent who had agreed to fight for a certain amount of money then asked the promoter for more money. The promoter said he wasn’t going to pay any more money so the fight was canceled.”

TRAINING

“I used to train at the Mayweather gym but since the COVID-19 hit, I am at the GLS Boxing gym in Las Vegas.”

SHOOTING CRAPS

“I remember when we were back in the amateurs we used to meet up in Nashville and Colorado Springs. We used to get in one room and shoot dice. We would shoot crap for money. Floyd, Nate Jones, Terence Crawford, James Baker and a lot of DC fighters.”

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  • This man was/is a hell of a talent. He was undersized and performed at the highest level again the very best. I distinctively remember him giving Floyd a hell of a fight and he even rocked him a few times. Salud!

  • I remember Corley had Cotto in serious trouble and then lost the opportunity for a KO and a few precious seconds by clowning.

  • Corley was always a colorful charachter who added style to the game. He’s been more of a stepping stone for the past 15 years but still pulls off the occasional upset or offers a surpringly tough fight. A fighter has to earn a victory over Chop Chop; he’s not just going to roll over and let it happen

  • I will never forget before the Judah fight when Corley said that he wears Victoria’s Secret underwear.

  • The Felix Flores initial knockdown came off one of the most beautiful step back counter uppercuts I have been forever trying to duplicate.

  • DC is one of the few fighter EVER to ring Floyd’s bell. Nice straight right. Through the guard had Floyd on dodo street.

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