Wednesday Night vs. Theophane in Rochester
WASHINGTON D.C. (July 28, 2008) – Former WBO light welterweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley is in a crossroads fight Wednesday night against Ashley “Treasure” Theophane (21-3, 7 KOs) in Rochester, New York.
Corley (31-8-1, 17 KOs) is out to snap a four-fight losing streak and go back to the future, working with a new team in hopes of getting back into title contention. “This is a great opportunity for me,” Corley said. “I had a great run with Don King, but, ask any fighter, and the only way to stay active is to be in the ring. I was fighting every 8-12 months, but I’m older now, and need to be fighting every 3-4 months. I’m fighting young guys who are fast and hungry. I need to be busier.”
Now a promotional free agent, the 34-year-old Corley is now managed by Egis Klimas (E Point K Consulting), and trained by veteran Don Turner. “We have a game plan and I’ll be fighting another way than fans have seen the last few years,” Corley explained. “I’ll show a different style working with Don, but what he’s really done is add to the fighter I was when I became world champion. People are going to see a better fighter, one who is more complete and has added to his arsenal. They haven’t seen me punch like they will Wednesday night. I’ve watched a lot of tape with Don, particularly Sugar Ray Robinson, and Don’s showed me that they all had their feet closer together and threw combinations. I’m doing that and putting my feet closer together hasn’t taken any power away. It’s added power.
“Don’s taught me that the body is programmed for five hard rounds and after then it’s about will and skill after that. If a fighter goes as hard as possible for five rounds, like Floyd Mayweather fights, it’s only a matter of time before the opponent is broken down.”
Corley, the 1995 National Golden Gloves Champion, made his pro debut in 1996 and he won his first 16 pro fights.
In 1999, Corley won a 12-round split decision against Ener Julio for the USBA light welterweight title. Two years later, “Chop Chop” took a championship fight on only five days notice against Felix Flores (17-2) for the vacant WBO light welterweight belt. Corley floored Flores twice and the fight was stopped in the opening round.
In successful title defenses, southpaw Corley completely dominated former champion Julio (23-3) in a rematch by 12-round decision (119-105, 117-107, 118-107), dropping Ener twice in the process, and DeMarcus won a 12-round unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 117-111)) versus Randall Bailey (26-2).
In back-to-back losing battles against world champions Zab Judah (28-1) and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (31-0), Corley lost his crown to Judah by 12-round split decision (115-113, 112-115, 113-115), and took Mayweather the distance in their WBC title eliminator.
An impressive 10-round win by decision (100-88, 99-90, 99-90) victory against Darryl Tyson (50-13-1) set-up a WBO title shot against unbeaten sensation Miquel Cotto (22-0) in Puerto Rico. It appeared that Corley had Cotto out on his feet, but hometown hero Cotto eventually won by fifth-round technical knockout, marking the first time DeMarcus had been stopped.
“I was frustrated a few times,” Corley remarked, “especially after the Cotto fight. If we had fought in the United States, it would have been stopped. I had him out. I hit him with the same punches I did against Flores and (referee) Jay Nady stopped it. But this fight was in Puerto Rico where Cotto lives and it was a Top Rank show. I had everything stacked against me but I should have won by knockout.”
Coming off of four straight losses, Corley realizes that his fight Wednesday night against Theophane is a do-or-die situation for him. “I don’t know much more about him than his name,” DeMarcus admitted, “but I know I need to make a serious statement and can’t let it go more than three rounds. If I’m going to get a chance to fight for a world title again – fight a Ricky Hatton or get a rematch against Cotto – I have to knockout everybody in each fight from now on to get that shot.”