Corley earns spot in Contender final
Capitalising on his strengths and exploiting the weaknesses of his opponent, American boxer DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley gained a majority decision over Jamaica's Michael 'The Wasp' Gardener at the Chinese Benevolent Association on Wednesday, earning himself a place in the final of the Wray and Nephew Welterweight 2016 Contender series.
The final is set for Saturday, July 2, at the National Indoor Sports Centre. Corley will face Richard 'Frog' Holmes, over 10 rounds.
Corley used a clever mixture of guile and power to throw his inexperienced opponent off track, and impressed two of the judges, American Eddie Cotton and Jamaican Ransford Burton, to vote 69-64.
The other judge, Laurence Neufville, sided with Gardener, voting 67-66, after seven rounds of boxing.
Corley now has a 46-27-1 record. Gardener, who made his professional debut in the Contender series, is now 2-1.
It was a case of experience versus youth. In the build-up to the fight, Gardener, 22, kept reminding Corley, 42, that he was "old and the past", he was "youth and the future".
Being constantly referred to as being old clearly annoyed Corley and he promised before the fight to "hurt that kid".
Hurting Gardener was not his main objective on Wednesday. The bigger picture was to win the fight and move to the finals. He executed his game plan methodically and successfully.
Corley was always elusive. Gardener tried to get to his body with hooks but he was usually a step away and rarely landed.
Corley summed it up after the fight when he told STAR Sports, "He (Gardener) is bigger than me, so I fought smart. I wanted to get to the finals and I was confident that I would."