by David P. Greisman
DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley still wants another run at the top — and he’s willing to make that run either in the junior welterweight division in which he’s campaigned throughout his career, or one division below at lightweight.
But first he needs to get past Paul McCloskey.
Corley, 37, will be facing the 32-year-old McCloskey on May 5 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This will be yet another journey to yet another country for Corley, who in recent years has gone to London and Tornoto, to Nicaragua and the Ukraine, and to Kazakhstan twice, Argentina twice and Russia twice.
Corley believes a win over McCloskey will get the former beltholder closer to one more title shot. After six straight losses between 2010 and 2011, Corley bounced back in January with a decision win over Gabriel Bracero that brought his record to 38-19-1 with 22 knockouts.
Corley wants to take aim at two specific titlists following McCloskey. The native of Washington, D.C., spoke with BoxingScene.com earlier this month about that, and much more.
BoxingScene.com: What’s going on?
Corley: “I’m just staying focused and getting ready for my fight on May 5 in Ireland. We’re fighting Paul McCloskey, 12 rounds.”
BoxingScene.com: You’ve been trotting around the globe of late.
Corley: “Yeah, it’s hard to stay in the states, but I got to go wherever the fight is.”
BoxingScene.com: You’re coming off a win over Gabriel Bracero. What are you trying to do right now with your career?
Corley: “We just want to get another shot at the world title. We’re looking to campaign at both weight classes, 140 and 135. This fight right here is scheduled for 12 rounds at 140 pounds. After I beat this guy, we’ll see who’s next at 140. If not, we’ll campaign at ’35.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you think of McCloskey?
Corley: “I’ve watched the Breidis Prescott fight. I thought Breidis won, but when you fight somebody in their hometown, in their country, if you don’t knock him out and you don’t knock him down a couple times, you’re not going to get the decision.”
BoxingScene.com: Break him down as a fighter. What do you see when you look at McCloskey?
Corley: “He’s a little bit like Prince [Naseem] Hamed. He likes to showboat. He’s a clown for his crowd. Not taking nothing from him, I think it’ll be a great fight, but I don’t expect the fight to go 12 rounds. Not the way I’m feeling right now, and my attitude.”
BoxingScene.com: You mentioned fighting at 135 as well as 140. How easy is it for you to go down to 135 right now? I wouldn’t think it’d be that easy considering how long you’ve been at 140.
Corley: “Seventeen years at 140, I never had a problem making weight. And if I knew better, I would have done better — I would’ve turned pro at 135 pounds. I fought 139 my whole amateur career, pretty much, before I turned pro. If someone would’ve said, ‘Look, you can lose four pounds. Go down, fight ’35,’ I would’ve went down, but we were already knocking people out at 140 in the amateurs. We just felt turning pro at 140 would be best for me, but it wasn’t.”
BoxingScene.com: Why isn’t 140 the best for you? Are the guys you’ve been facing just too big?
Corley: “I’m more strong at 135 pounds, but I maintain my strength at 140. And dealing with the guys who are at 140, coming down, like when I fought Cotto, he barely made 140 but the day of the fight he came in at 158 pounds — 16, 18 pounds more than me. I weighed in at 137 for the Cotto fight.”
BoxingScene.com: And what were you on fight night?
BoxingScene.com: What do you walk around at?
Corley: “143, 144, when I’m not in the gym.”
BoxingScene.com: So it shouldn’t be that hard to make 135 at all.
Corley: “No. Leading up to the fight in St. Maarten [against Luis Ernesto Jose] before it got canceled, I was leaving out of the gym at 137.”
BoxingScene.com: How hard is it for you to get fights, because you are a capable veteran and you can be dangerous?
Corley: “It’s hard for me to get a fight, because nobody wants to take a chance. I’m the threat at 140 right now. I’m going to be a bigger threat at 135 after I win this fight.”
BoxingScene.com: Are there certain titleholders at 135 or 140 that you want more than others?
Corley: “I want Antonio DeMarco at 135 pounds. I want Danny Garcia at 140. Both of them carry the WBC titles right now.”
BoxingScene.com: Is the WBC belt why you want them, or is it something about those guys themselves?
Corley: “The WBC. It means everything to me. It’s my dream, my vision, something I want to capture.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org