Boxing: DeMarcus gets the Corley never expected; disappointing for McCloskey

Criticising boxing promoters is a popular business. Both historically and in matters topical. A fighter’s promoter, who can be his manager too, despite the conflict of interest inherent in that scenario,  is often lumbered with blame for all manner of peaks and troughs in a fighter’s career. As uninformed bystanders, it is easy to point the finger of blame at those who determine the trajectory and strategy of a fighter’s career. Beyond the knowledge of the ‘man in street’ are the unknown variables; from a fighter’s form and focus to the sensibilities, pliable and otherwise, of the regulatory bodies and television networks who fund and benchmark the process. To date, Matchroom Sports has proved a reinvigorating presence in the stagnant waters of British Boxing and thus far remain untouched by criticism. DeMarcus Corley as an opponent for Paul McCloskey on May 5th, even as a late replacement, should provide dénouement to that honeymoon period.

I don’t deny DeMarcus Corley has been a competent fighter at the weight in the past. He has shared a ring with some of the best prizefighters of his generation in Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto and performed with credit and beyond those two, who clash on the same weekend, he has also variously tangled with Zab Judah, Junior Witter, Marcos Maidana and Randall Bailey not to mention current British champion Ashley Theophane and an at the time 13-0 Devon Alexander.

He lost to all of them.

In the last two years, 37-year-old Corley has a record of 2-7 (1k0). He has fought in Argentina, Ukraine, Canada and Russia. And lost.

In those 9 bouts, boxrec.com records he was on the canvas 11 times. Which perhaps displays pride to match his loss of substance as a former world champion for hire, if one wanted to adopt a positive outlook on the match up. 11 knockdowns in 9 fights, despite the fact 8 of them came in one fight, suggests Corley has lost much, if not all, of what he once had.

Barry Hearm remonstrates with Oscar DeLaHoya following Paul McCloskey's contentious stoppage loss to Amir Khan.

His recent victory of the unbeaten Gabriel Bracero provides salvation for Corley and the smoke behind which this fight is presented. A study of Bracero’s slate providing all the illumination to the result’s true significance. Bracero was, or is, a fighter with a beguiling record but not the talent or craft it suggests.

The premise of Paul McCloskey’s recent promotion has been the supposed injustice of his loss to Amir Khan and the fact he is one fight from another World title shot. With 4 recognised sanctioning bodies, often with more than one ‘champion’ per weight, the cynic in me suggests that isn’t the pedestal it used be in times of yore.  But I digress.

I don’t believe a fighter of McCloskey’s supposed standing and ambition should be fighting DeMarcus Corley.  Corley was beaten by Ashley Theophane in 2008, a full two years before he became British champion. Shouldn’t McCloskey be looking for a more adventurous fixture than this?

DeMarcus Corley has the resume required its just 5, maybe 7, years out of date. Paul McCloskey turns 33 in August.

Let us hope Lou DiBella, who promotes the American veteran and WBC No. 1 contender Ajose Alosugun, is correct, if he is, then Corley can be tolerated, if not embraced, as a necessary rather than worthy encounter for the popular Irishman.

“Chop Chop is a former world champion and is coming off a great comeback win against an undefeated fighter,” said Di Bella. “He is eager to take a shot at McCloskey. If McCloskey were to defeat DeMarcus though, and after Ajose Olusegun wins the title from Danny Garcia, an Olusegun-McCloskey match-up would certainly be very attractive for all fight fans, particularly those in the U.K. and Ireland.”

But the last word is, Corley is a spent force.

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