What happened last night to my fighter, former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (36-16-1, 22 KOs), in Argentina against Lucas Matthysee (28-1, 26 KOs) was a travesty. He recently fought Marcus Maidana in Argentina and lost without any complaints, but last night was an outright injustice and another black eye for boxing.
Everything was totally unacceptable from the very beginning. DeMarcus arrived there early Tuesday morning, attended a press conference the following day, and weighed-in Thursday. We were informed just a couple days before DeMarcus Corley left for Argentina that the fight was for the vacant WBO Intercontinental super lightweight title. We didn’t have any problems with that at all, but I was very surprised that the WBO approved these two fighters, who both lost their last fights, to fight for the title.
At 6 AM Friday morning, the morning of the fight, Corley was suddenly awoken and taken to the hospital for medicals, including an EKG and brain scan, and he didn’t get back to the hotel until 2 PM. Three hours later and without any rest, ‘Chop Chop” was taken to the arena. He was there three days and nobody said anything to him or our team about him needing medicals, not until the morning of the fight, and he obviously didn’t look sharp in the fight because of all the running around he had to do. Why did they wait?
Granted, “Chop Chop” didn’t look good. He took a knee after a body shot for a legitimate knockdown but he wasn’t hurt. My biggest concern came in the seventh round, when he was hit with a blatant low blow, but the referee did nothing, not even a warning. Matthysee then delivered multiple low blows, illegal hits to the back of the head, pushed “Chop Chop” down a few times –counting them as knockdowns -- and even hit him on the top of the head when he was down. In any other country this would have led to a disqualification, no questions about that, but the referee didn’t issue a warning, never mind deduct a single point.
We ended-up unfairly losing by eighth-round technical knockout. The referee was totally unprofessional and we have no clue what the WBO supervisor was watching. We are looking into filing a complaint with the Argentine Boxing Commission against the show promoters (Golden Boy Promotions and Aranobox) and petitioning the WBO to review the action; ultimately overturning the outcome and, at the very least, rule the fight a no-contest.
I am writing this letter to the boxing world not only to protect my fighter, but because I’m also disappointed by how poorly it affects the sport of boxing.
In addition to Corley, Klimas manages a number of Eastern European and Russian boxers, including rising star and former Russian National Team member, undefeated light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev (12-0, 10 KO’s), top featherweight prospect Evgeny Gradovich (8-0, 6 KO’s) and Donatas Bondorovas (11-1 3 KO’s) who is fighting tonight in the opening bout on the Evander Holyfield-Sherman Williams pay-per-view card.