By Chris Robinson
Earlier this month I came across a familiar face when I spotted former junior welterweight champion DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley at Shane Mosley's camp in Big Bear, California. A slick southpaw with a penchant for outlandish outfits inside of the ring, Corley isn't the easiest of souls to forget about despite him being years removed from his championship days.
Corley held the WBO junior welterweight crown for a brief span starting in 2001 and has been in the ring with countless champions and contenders. He had some memorable moments against the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Zab Judah, and Miguel Cotto in losing efforts and is still active as a professional, having dropped a split-decision to Andre Gorges just last month in Ontario, Canada.
As for his involvement with Mosley, Corley insists he felt a need to help the former five-time champion as he readies himself for the dangerous challenge of Manny Pacquiao on May 7th at the MGM Grand.
"The reason I wanted to come here, I wanted to give Shane Mosley an opportunity to see exactly what Pacquiao is going to bring to the table for this fight. He brings punching power, which I have a lot of punching power. Everyone has seen it. When I fought Floyd Mayweather I hurt him with a right hook. I just want to imitate and emulate Pacquiao as much as I can so Shane can be prepared," said Corley.
True enough, Corley did have Floyd buzzed, just as he did Cotto two fights later in Puerto Rico, and he has always shown himself to be consummate professional, even in losing. But for as much talent as the D.C. fighter had in his prime, Pacquiao is considered to be on a completely different level.
Not so fast, says Corley.
"He's not as dangerous as no other fighter, he's just real strong," Corley continued of the Filipino star. "Everybody's seen in Manny's last fight that he doesn't waver in the late rounds. He seems to pick up more stamina and pick up the pace of his punches."
As our conversation continued, Corley spoke highly of the atmosphere in Shane's camp, claiming it was 'like family'. Being at the media day even reminded Corley of his peak years roughly a decade ago, a time he truly loved as a professional.
But things have been a little rough these days for the 36-year old Corley, loser of thirteen of his last nineteen bouts despite the often high level of competition he has been facing. While many are clamoring for his retirement, Corley insists that the records books don't tell the full story.
"It's been pretty hard," Corley admitted of his recent run in the sport. "Nobody in the States wants to fight me because I am a pretty dangerous fighter. I've just been taking fights out of the country. Going to decisions in fights that I should have won, I just didn't get the decision. Like the [Marcos] Maidana fight, my last fight in Canada, I won that fight in an eight round decision and it was a split decision. When you go to a decision out of the country they are not going to give it to you."
Before Corley and I went our separate ways I asked him what exactly he remembered about his fight with Mayweather and whether he thinks the Las Vegas-based superstar will ever fight again.
"I remember when I had him in the third round and I almost had him. That was my moment and I let him go. I think he'll fight again. Right now Floyd is just being Floyd. He's having a good time but the time comes for him to fight either Shane Mosley again or Manny Pacquiao, he'll get ready."