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  BoxingTalk, May 20, 2004

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. - Demarcus Corley Press Conference



This afternoon at the ESPN Zone in Times Square, a press conference was held for Saturday’s HBO bout between undefeated “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. and DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley. The fight, which will take place at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, is Mayweather’s first test at 140 pounds. He is the current WBC lightweight champion and #3 on Boxingtalk’s P4P list. In Corley, Mayweather will face an experienced, well-rounded southpaw who has spent his entire career as a jr. welterweight. Although Corley is no soft touch, he looked flat in his last fight, losing a split decision and his WBO belt to Zab Judah.

Before the press conference began, “Pretty Boy”—who has been billing himself “The Truth” lately—was peppered with questions from the boxing press. As expected, the Grand Rapids, Michigan native talked his fair share of trash about his fellow pugilists (even dissing his #1 homey from Brooklyn—“I ain’t no Zab Judah,” he declared more than once). However, he was disappointingly blingless today; while he was decked out in Sean Jean sweats and had diamond-encrusted gold dog tags hanging from his neck, he looked naked without his mid-six figure, hubcap-size gold and diamond watch.

Corley comes into this fight as a significant underdog, and Mayweather wants to make sure his opponent knows his place. “I don’t want DeMarcus to get in his mind that he’s Tarver and I’m Roy Jones,” Mayweather said. “Cause he’s nothing like that. I don’t even want him to get that in the back of his mind. Because that’s when he (Corley) gonna be him (a KO’d Roy Jones) real quick.”

“Cause it’s like this,” Mayweather continued. “With all three of us (Antonio Tarver, Roy Jones and Mayweather himself), we got somethin’ in common. We all are Olympic medalists, and we all been world champions more than once . . . I’m good at what I do. It’s got to be respected. I may talk a lot of trash. They may say I’m cocky. They may say I’m arrogant. Say what you want to say, Floyd Mayweather’s a winner. I know how to win.”

Mayweather also expressed dismay about Bernard Hopkins being rated higher than him on the “Ring Magazine” P4P list: “He been beat by the guy who’s number one (formerly Roy Jones), and who the other guys he’s lost to? Come on, man?! And what’s he at, one weight class? I turned pro at 130, and when I fought for the title I fought the best guy who was at 130 (Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales). I ain’t get no tune up fights when I went to 135—I fought the best guy at 135 (Jose Castillo)! And I’m trying to find who the best guy at 140 is. They say his (Kostya Tszyu) ankle hurt and he’s talking about retiring, so I’m not chasing him. I’m tired of chasing these guys. Like I said before, I’m gonna fight fights that make sense.”

So then what fights make sense for him, Boxingtalk asked the 27-year-old. Does he see welterweight champ (WBC, WBA, IBF) Cory Spinks in his future?

“Cory Spinks is a good fighter but he’s scared of me,” Mayweather said. “I know it. I know when I’ve got a fighter beat. He’s beat mentally. I beat you mentally before I beat you physically.”

Is that a fight you really want, Boxingtalk asked once more?

“It’s not the fight he wants. You wanna see the reason why? He tryin’ to get to that seven-figure level. My goal is a eight-figure level, for one fight.”

No one would describe this answer as committal. Whereas Cory Spinks called Boxingtalk’s Greg Leon this morning and delivered a few well-executed jabs at Mayweather. “He calls himself ‘The Truth’ but he’s a pathological liar in the ring . . . he only fights true hamburgers.”

* * *

As Floyd Mayweather fielded more questions, Boxingtalk searched the room for DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, who was no where to be found. Obscured by a herd of heavyset boxing writers surrounding the free buffet, sat a lean, bald-headed man in a sharp white linen suit. He wore a sulky expression. It was Washinton D.C.’s “Chop Chop” himself, sitting alone with his manager Gary Lee. He seemed pleased to have a boxing writer pay him more attention than the greasy ribs and overcooked chicken fouling the air.

ZL: Across the room the boxing press is hanging on Floyd’s every word, while you’re sitting here basically getting ignored. Does that make you angry or give you motivation going into a fight like this?

DC: No, it doesn’t bother me very much. I’m a calm and relaxed person. I’m pretty much laid back. Come fight time, everybody’ll see what I can do.

ZL: Do you think Mayweather’s ever experienced the power that you’re going to bring as a genuine 140-pounder. Do those five pounds you have on him naturally make a world of difference?

DC: Not only the five-pound difference. My hand-speed is going to be pretty much fast as Floyd’s, and my punching power.

ZL: You must be excited to get a second chance on the big stage. I know you must have been disappointed with the Zab Judah fight, and here you’ve got a chance to really vindicate yourself.

DC: Yeah, I was pretty much disappointed, but in life you go through things that make you better. And like God say, before he can take you forward, he have to take you backwards. And me losing that fight with Zab made me a better fighter, gave me a chance to look at life better, and I got a better offer with Floyd.
ZL: What are some of the things that you learned coming off the Zab Judah fight, when you analyzed it?

DC: I mean, I analyzed it. And my strategy for that fight was planned and created by my trainer. I went out there and done what my trainer wanted me to do. And we fought the way he wanted me to fight for that. But we looked at it and the strategy was wrong for that fight. I’m the champion, I shouldn’t have been going in there fighting as the challenger. I was chasing him around and trying to press the fight. I should have had him coming to me. (Corley now works with Don Turner. His former trainer was Bernard Roach.)

ZL: Are you the type of fighter who likes to do his research and watch a lot of tape?

DC: I like to watch the person I am going to fight. But as far as going back and watching a lot of fighters, no. I watch the greatest pound-for-pound, Sugar Ray Robinson. I like that and seen the way he knocks fighters out going backward, going forward. He had tremendous punching power.

ZL: Is he probably the one fighter you like to study most?

DC: No, I like to study Marvin Hagler. Cause he’s a southpaw.

ZL: Do you see any flaws in Floyd’s style that you want to exploit?

DC: Yeah, we seen a whole lot of mistakes that he makes. He reaches with the right hand. He jumps in. He pulls back with his hands down. He tries to pop-shot you with the shoulder. And he likes to fight off the ropes.

ZL: So, for a serious question, what are you going to be wearing in the ring? (Corley designs his own boxing apparel.)

DC: You gotta wait till Saturday. I mean, I have ideas in my head. I already have the uniform designed for the next fight. After we beat Floyd, then we’ll go to the table and have them start putting the next one (fight) together.

ZL: I heard you design women’s lingerie and clothes, as well as men’s fashions. What kind of stuff do you like to design?

DC: I like to design boxing apparel. This suit I have on now, I designed it. I had them make it for me.

ZL: You wear it well. Best of luck on Saturday.

DC: Thank you.




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