DeMarcus Corley is still choppin’ ‘em up, 22 years later
DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, 50-28-1 (28), turned pro 22 years ago and will step into the ring for the 80th time, on February 10, in Philadelphia, at the 2300 Arena.
Corley is heading to the “City of Brotherly Love” to lock horns with former junior welterweight title challenger “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, 28-6-1 (14).
At 43 years of age, he knows he certainly has more years behind him than ahead but don’t write him off as a former contender and champion, who is just looking for a paycheck.
For the record, this isn’t a washed-up gatekeeper; he is 8-2 in his last 10 outings. The Lundy fight will be his 11th fight in the last 24 months.
When perusing Corley’s resume, it’s obvious that there isn’t a fighter in the world who is going to step into the ring with him and show him anything he hasn’t seen before.
Since turning pro in 1996, Corley, who is managed by Sporty Smith, of Penntucky Sports LLC, has a ledger that boasts bouts against 15 world champions and numerous world title challengers. His list of opponents includes Miguel Cotto, Randall Bailey, Zab Judah, Viktor Postol, Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, Devon Alexander, Junior Witter, Ruslan Provodnikov and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Despite being many years removed from his most recent world title shot, don’t be surprised if he works his way back to another big bout before he calls it a career. And he knows a win over a conternder like Lundy would be a step in the right direction.
UCNLive.com caught up with the former world junior welterweight champion, as he prepared for Lundy, at his training base, near his home just outside Washington D.C.
Bill Tibbs: Hi DeMarcus, thanks for taking a minute to chat.
DeMarcus Corley: No problem; my pleasure.
BT: You have literally faced everyone of your generation. Looking back, who was your most difficult opponent, win or lose?
DC: Lucas Matthysse was the most difficult fighter I ever faced, in terms of his style. I mean, the guy was like a big tsunami coming at me. He was a very difficult style to fight, a big, strong physical guy coming at you all night.
BT: At this stage of your career, do you think you still have a shot at getting a title bout?
DC: I don’t think realistically I’ll get another title shot because I’m a dangerous fighter. You have a young guy; why try to cross the highway with him where it is dangerous? Just take him to the lights, where you can cross safely; you know what I mean? I’m still a dangerous fighter and therefore I am a risk for these young guys coming up. So I think it would be the politics and the business of the game that would stop me from getting a title shot.
BT: What do you know about Hank Lundy?
DC: Hank? I met him years ago in New York at Gleason’s Gym. I’ve known him over the years but we never sparred, even when he was in the D.C. area, working with the Peterson brothers (Lamont and Anthony). He’s a good fighter.
BT: With all your experience, do you still prepare for certain styles?
DC: I don’t train for a specific style because a guy might fight one way against one person and then change his style, make some corrections, etc. and come out differently against me. So really what I do is try to get myself in the very best shape possible and then adapt to the fighter, as I need to. I could watch how Lundy fought against Terence Crawford but he may have made changes and adjustments and improvements since then. So it doesn’t necessarily help me preparing me for a certain style from a guy.
BT: Hardest puncher you ever faced?
DC: Hardest puncher I ever faced was Freddy Hernandez, when I experimented up at 147. The guy caught me and dropped me. I was winning the fight but I realized, ‘Man, I got five more rounds of this?’ (Chuckles) but I knew this guy is just too big. He’d be the hardest puncher I ever faced.
BT: Best defensive fighter you ever faced?
DC: Floyd Mayweather (Jr.) was, and is, the best defensive fighter and the best I ever faced.
BT: What do you feel has been the key to your longevity in the sport? What is your greatest strength?
DC: Greatest strength as a fighter is my patience in the ring. I know how to pace myself and work against these young guys and be patient in there. They know they have to be smart with me because they know that I’m a guy who is patient and will look for my spots to land my shots. I’ll be patient and wait for the right time to take over the fight. They know, facing me, that they are facing an experienced fighter.
BT: How much longer would you like to keep fighting? Do have any timeline? Did you ever think you’d be fighting this long?
DC: Fight this long? Never. I mean, I just boxed as a kid to get a trophy. I was told if you win or lose, in boxing, you usually get a trophy, so I was real excited to box and to try to win one. I never thought about boxing pro or anything, at the time. But later, I realized what I could do. I almost went to the Barcelona Olympics and then decided I was going to try for the ’96 (Olympic) Games. After taking ’93 and ’94 off, I had 36 fights in 1995. I was an Olympic alternate in Colorado but lost to Fernando Vargas. So I boxed in the Eastern Trials and lost a fight I should have won. So I decided enough of the politics; I’m going to go pro.
BT: And here you are 22 years and 80 fights later.
DC: (Laughs). Yes, true but how long? Well, my goal was to keep going until I could secure a rematch with Zab Judah but he’s got a few other things to deal with right now and I don’t wanna wait around for him until next year. I wanna get going in other areas of boxing. I’ve got a clothing line and shoes out that I wanna market and get going with. Plus I want to spend time training my kids. I have a five-year-old who is really something special. I have three older ones who box also but they aren’t as dedicated to it as the young one. He is something else, so I want to spend time dedicated to him and training him.
BT: Do have a prediction for February 10?
DC: Prediction? I’ll knock out Hank around the eighth round. I know I’ll catch him and, when I do, I need to have that killer instinct I had years ago. When I catch him – and I’ll catch him – I have to finish it. I can’t let it go to the scorecards.
BT: DeMarcus, you’ve had an amazing career. Thanks for taking the time to chat and all the best in your next bout.
DC: No problem. Thank you.