by David P. Greisman
Entering this year, DeMarcus ďChop ChopĒ Corley had lost eight of his last nine, including six in a row dating back to 2010.
This year, however, heís undefeated, winning a decision over Gabriel Bracero in January and then scoring a technical knockout victory last month over former world-title challenger Paul McCloskey.
Itís been a dramatic turnaround for a 38-year-old fighter and former junior-welterweight titleholder who is trying to get another shot at a major belt.
Corley, now 39-19-1 with 23 knockouts, spoke with BoxingScene.com in early June.
BoxingScene.com: Itís been about a month since your big win over McCloskey. Youíd promised beforehand that McCloskey wasnít going to last 12, and he didnít last 12. What did you know to be able to make that prediction and then make it come true?
Corley: ďMy performance leading up to the fight, my training, the way my training was going. The Wednesday the week before the fight, we worked 15 rounds of sparring. I knew if I could fight at this pace for 15 rounds with three different sparring partners, I knew I could break Paul down within 12 rounds of fighting. And I knew Iíd knock him out.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What was it you saw with McCloskey to be able to break him down and knock him out?
Corley: ďHe has a lot of mistakes he makes, by him being a southpaw just like me. He leaves his left hand down in his pocket a lot, and he pulls back, and his hand is not up when he pulls back. I knew if I threw a combination and finished with my right hook, I would land pretty much every time.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What is it thatís changed with you? You had a rough stretch where you lost several fights in a row for some time, and now youíve put two big wins together. Is there something thatís changed in training to allow you to turn things around?
Corley: ď(laughs) Itís funny you say Ďchange in training,í because me and my trainer, it wasnít a falling out, but the trainer who worked with me the last few fights (Tyrone Jones) just went MIA on me. I had to go back to my old trainer who I won my old title with in 2001 (Bernard Roach). Weíre back working together. Now I havenít heard from [Jones]. We havenít spoken since May 12. I donít know where heís at. He hasnít returned any of my texts or my calls.
ďIím still training the same way. Iím just taking some supplements from West Africa thatís helping me with my performance and my endurance level. Thatís pretty much it. My drive ó I wanted it more the last couple fights, and I lost, and me not winning the fights, where I won the fights but not getting the decision just made me fight harder. I know every time Iím in the ring I got to fight harder from now on. I canít just fight hard and not push it to the limit, because Iím always going against someone in their backyard or Iím the underdog.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What are the supplements that youíre taking? And what is the difference that you feel because of them?
Corley: ďThe supplements, everybody wants to know what Iím taking because of what Andre Berto went through and what Lamont Peterson just went through with steroids and stuff, but my stuff is certified with the USADA. Itís just natural herbs. Itís some herbs that Iím taking. When itís time for me to say what Iím taking, then Iíll tell. But until then, Iíma keep it a secret (laughs).Ē
BoxingScene.com: And how do you feel different because of them?
Corley: ďMy performance level. I can get in there and fight at a pace like Iím young again. I mean, my last few fights, Iím fighting at a higher level now. I just had a birthday. Iím 38 years old and I feel Iím performing as an 18-year-old right now. I just started back training and I donít feel no slacking or none of that in my workouts right now. Ready to go.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Had you ever taken anything before, or is this your first time turning to this kind of thing?
Corley: ďThis is my first time. It was on ĎDr. Oz.í You can drink it in a tea or you can take it in pills or you can put it in a protein shake. Itís for high blood pressure, diabetes and everything. If I keep pitching it, youíll know what Iím talking about. It was on ĎDr. Oz,í and a lot of people are taking it, but a lot of people donít know about it.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What did you feel like before you were taking it?
Corley: ďWhen I fought Ruslan Provodnikov, I was in the gym and had just started taking it in December. I beat that guy, and it really took a lot out of me for them not to give me the decision. I knew that the stuff had really given me an edge. In the 10th round I was on him and putting combinations together. I wasnít tired. I was never winded, but before the Ruslan fight, I faded a little bit like in the ninth and 10th rounds when I fought the other Russian.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Before the McCloskey fight you said you wanted a title shot afterward either at junior welterweight against Danny Garcia or at lightweight against Antonio DeMarco. Now Garcia is fighting Amir Khan and DeMarco looks like heíll be facing John Molina. Where does that leave you with whatís next?
Corley: ďIt leaves me just setting in the wind. I spoke with my promoter, Lou DiBella, and right now nobody wants to fight me. Lou has to keep on trying to get a fight for me. Nobody wants to take a chance of getting in the ring with me. Iím dangerous. Iím a threat. I need to defend my NABF title, so we can fight the No. 1 guy for that, but weíre looking for a big name right now.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Are you willing to stay busy and face somebody whoís not a big name right now?
Corley: ďOf course. I mean Iím not young, but I got to stay busy. I got to keep the oil in my car moving. I look at my body as a car. I just canít sit on the shelf. Iím 38 years old.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Are you still willing to play the part of road warrior and keep traveling to these other guys backyards, if need be?
Corley: ďIf I have to go to Mexico, Iíll fight [Juan Manuel] Marquez. Other than that, I want to fight in the States now. I know theyíre still looking for an opponent for Marquez to fight in Mexico now. Weíve been trying to get the Marquez fight. They said Marquez would fight the winner between me and Paul, but they changed their mind.Ē
BoxingScene.com: At the same time, youíre a southpaw and Marquez does want to face only southpaws because heís vying for Manny Pacquiao.
Corley: ďYeah, but he was willing to fight Zab [Judah]. Zabís name was mentioned. Why not mention my name? Iím available. Zab might not want to go to Mexico.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What else do you want people to know?
Corley: ďI guarantee my next fight will be a knockout. Thatís my game plan is to go in there and knock out whoever I fight. It wonít go the distance. I can predict that because of the performance that Iím putting out in the gym and the supplements that Iím taking.Ē
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
Tags: DeMarcus Corley