Chip Mitchell: Corley will challenge Marcos Maidana for the WBC Interim Super Lightweight Championship of the World. The bout will take place August 28, 2010 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chip Mitchell: You just won your last fight against Damian Fuller at The Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. Congrats on your victory and how do you feel about your performance?
Chop Corley: I feel great about my performance. I should have started earlier. In the first round, we were feeling each other out. I could have pushed the fight and got it over in the second or third round if I would have started earlier in the first round..
Chip Mitchell: You stepped up and accepted the fight on short notice. That means you must stay in shape. Career wise what did the victory mean for you?
Chop Corley: The victory meant a lot for me career wise. I stay in the gym five days a week. I have two young fighters that are boxing also, my sons. When I’m not in the gym, they are in the gym so I’m still in the gym.
Chip Mitchell: Chop, how did you get your start in boxing?
Chop Corley: At the Kenilworth Parkside Recreation Center, Washington, DC, Northeast on Anacostia Avenue. Hanging down there and they had boxing from 7:00pm until 9:00pm. Kenny Mallard asked me if I wanted to box and I said ‘no’. He asked why and I said ‘I already know how to fight’. He told me boxing was a sport and not something you just do as a fight. I asked him what you get if you win and he took me around and showed me all these trophies. It was exciting to me, being a short person. I’ve always been short. I couldn’t play basketball. I wasn’t a good player. I liked one on one sports, so I figured boxing is one on one compatible. I’d rather do that than any other sport. The trophies are what drove me to boxing.
Chip Mitchell: Now Chop, you are from the Washington, DC area. The area is rich in boxing talent with names like Keith Holmes, William Joppy, Darryl Tyson, Derrell Coley, Simon Brown, etc. How does it feel being one of the better know names in that mix of great fighters?
Chop Corley: It feels good, just trying to make DC known as one of the legacies outside of boxing. I’m just trying to give back to the community and the kids.
Chip Mitchell: You have fought some of the best out there. Zab Judah, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Is there a
fighter out there who you wish you had fought?
Chop Corley: Yes, Diego Corrales. RIP. I would have loved to have a chance to fight Diego.
Chip Mitchell: Ok, please tell readers how you got the name Chop Chop.
Chop Corley: When I first got into boxing, I was 10 years old. I trained for a year until I had my first amateur fight, which was at 11 years old. We went out to eat at Burger King. The Silver Glove Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee. I got on the scale before we went to eat, I weighed 65 pounds. My friend said ‘you got to eat light. You’ve got to make weight tomorrow.’ So we went out to eat at Burger King so I got a salad first. Then I had more food and more food and ice cream. I got on the scale the next day and I weighed 75 pounds (chuckle). My trainer said ‘you chopped that food up. I’m going to call you ‘Chop Chop’. Now you have to move up in weight and fight at 75 pounds. It was a great opportunity for me because I got to fight one of the great fighters, Danny Ramirez in the championship.
Chip Mitchell: Back to Zab Judah. You lost a VERY close split decision to Zab a few years back. What do you remember about that fight and do you think you won?
Chop Corley: Congratulations (to Zab). I remember the fight like yesterday. It was a great fight, two southpaws. It was like a sparring match in there, which it shouldn’t have been. I should have put more pressure on Zab to make him fight every round instead of making it a boxing match in the gym. I got caught in the third round, which gave Zab Judah the fight that night. If I wouldn’t have got knocked down, I would have won a split decision leaning my way. But giving Zab the knockdown, that’s a 2 point round and he won the fight.
Chip Mitchell: Back then, there seemed to be a DC area rivalry with Sharmba Mitchell.
Chop Corley: (Laughs). It used to be a rivalry. I wanted to fight Sharma back in the day when I was young coming up and he was in his prime, the WBA World Champion. But the opportunity never came across for us to fight each other. They said I wasn’t ready at the time when I had just become World Champion. They still said I wasn’t ready for Sharmba and he even said I wasn’t on his level. So that made the fight more intense for it to happen, but it never happened.
Chip Mitchell: Has the beef been squashed?
Chop Corley: (Laughs). Yes, it’s squashed because I know Sharmba will never make 140 again. So yes, the beef has been squashed. Sharmba has retired and moved on with his life so he’s out of boxing now.
Chip Mitchell: Mitchell seemed to get under quite a few people’s skin. Is it true that when Mayweather knocked Sharmba Mitchell out, it was partly because your advice to punch to the body?
Chop Corley: (Laughing). I don’t know how true it was but I was rooting for Mayweather to punish him. Break him down to the body, cause see, when I fought Floyd he fought tactfully. He’s a very skillful fighter and he finds ways to break you down. When we fought he found a way to break you down to the body. So I knew him fighting another southpaw, Sharmba is weakened when you go to the body. I sparred with Sharmba. I also watched him fight Kostya Tszyu twice and I trained with Kostya Tszyu helping him beat Sharmba.
Chip Mitchell: Now let’s get down to the business at hand. Marcos Maidana’s claim to fame is his brutal stoppage of Victor Ortiz. After that fight, not many people have called him out. Part of the reason is that he is 28-1 with 27 Kos. However, he also is a major belt holder. What made you step up to the plate while others have been a bit bashful?
Chop Corley: In this sport of boxing, no man should fear another man. On any given night it can turn over for the next man. I’m not afraid of no fighter out there. He’s a great fighter with good punching power. I’m also a great fighter with EXCELLENT punching power in BOTH hands. This fight is going to be great. Leading up to this fight we are going to continue with strength and conditioning training so I can get stronger like I was for my last fight. We are going to work on throwing more punches and moving my head more.
Chip Mitchell: Will your plan be to out box him and use footwork?
Chop Corley: We are going box him and he’s going to run into everything. He comes straightforward so if I put it out there its gonna hit him. So all I have to do is step around and turn him. He’s picture perfect for me. Victor Ortiz fought the perfect fight for him but he just gave up. He quit.
Chip Mitchell: He’s quoted as saying he wants to knock you out before moving on to the Timothy Bradleys and Amir Khans of the world. Does his statement add motivational fuel to your preparation for Maidana?
Chop Corley: This is the first time I’ve heard it. If he wants to knock me out he has to sit there in front of me to do it. He’ll have opportunities to do it. I will give him an opportunity to knock me out. Thing is can he do it? A lot of people tried. A lot of people failed. I only know one person who succeeded at that. That was Freddy Hernandez… at welterweight.
Chip Mitchell: Now Chop, you’ve been known to wear VERY extravagant outfits to the ring. Is anything special in the works for this big fight in August?
Chop Corley: It’s already made. I made my outfit a month ago, before we knew we were going to take this fight. I started my own brand, Corley Sports. I’ll be fighting in my own boxing shoes next month. I’ll be the first professional fighter with his own boxing shoe out. They’ll have the website up and will upload everything leading up to this fight. Everything from headgear, cups, clothes, shoes, boxing apparel, sweat suits, polo shirts, t-shirts, hats, etc.
Chip Mitchell: What would you be doing if you never became a boxer?
Chop Corley: I’d continue my focus of going to school and becoming a fashion designer. The reason is my brother who was murdered was a seamstress. He made a couple of my uniforms. He did it so easy. I said ‘is it that easy, but you charge so much’. What people don’t know is that it takes a lot of patience when it comes to making clothes. You have to have patience if you want to sew. That was my driven passion because my brother did it so easy. If you have patience, it can be done. If I never became a boxer I would have stayed in school, went to college, and became a fashion designer.
Chip Mitchell: Who are some of your boxing idols?
Chop Corley: First and foremost I’d say Pernell Whitaker. Slick southpaw. Next, I would say Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Vicious southpaw. Then one that I like to study who could knock you out going backwards and wasn’t a southpaw…. Sugar Ray Robinson.
Chip Mitchell: Win, lose, or draw, do you have anything left to prove?
Chop Corley: No. Win, lose, or draw I have nothing left to prove. I’m quoted in the documentary that we are working on that I’ll retire at the age of 37 so… win, lose, or draw I’ll be 37 years old next year. I’ll continue to train, get some fights, and I’m coming out of the game.
Chip Mitchell: What are your plans once you hang the gloves up?
Chop Corley: Watch my two sons. I’m probably going to have two more getting into the field of boxing. Watch them train and just enjoy life. I’m going to stay into boxing. I want to do some commentating for the fights. I want to get into the field of speaking about boxers in the ring. I want to help kids. My thing is children. I have eight children of my own and they are the reason I do what I do; and I love what I do. It keeps me out of trouble. Growing up I could have been doing plenty other things but me having a family, I didn’t go out. I stopped partying, stopped clubbing, and I stayed home.
Chip Mitchell: Chop, thanks for allowing us this interview. Is there anything you want to say to the millions of fans reading this interview transcript on the Internet?
Chop Corley: Prepare for the US vs. Argentina. This fight will be a war. I will make it a boxing war and at the end of the day the US will bring the title back.
Thanks to Brian Bishop, Vice President of Brotman Winter Fried Communications for his endeavor to make the Patriot Center fight card a big success.