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Corley Set for Shot Against Cotto

By Jake Schaller
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, February 26, 2005; Page D05

Washington 140-pounder DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley has lost two of his last three fights, and his opponent is an unbeaten champion fighting on his home turf.

But Corley, 30, seemed confident earlier this week when talking about his chances against World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico. The two will meet tonight at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in a bout shown live on HBO.

"It's a big moment for me," said Corley. "A win would put me right back on top."

Beating the 24-year-old Cotto (22-0) might not put Corley (29-3-1) "on top," but it would restore some of his credibility in a loaded 140-pound division filled with marquee names such as Kostya Tszyu, Arturo Gatti and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Corley captured the vacant WBO 140-pound title on June 30, 2001, but after two defenses, he suffered back-to-back losses to Zab Judah and Mayweather, costing him his belt and his clout.

Corley disputes his split-decision loss to Judah in July 2003, and said health problems were partly to blame for his lopsided unanimous decision loss to Mayweather nearly 10 months later. Corley said he found out he was anemic after the bout, and the anemia was the reason he was unable to press the action when he seemed to take control of the fight in the fourth round.

"It was like all the power left my body," Corley said.

Since the Mayweather fight, however, Corley said he has been taking medication for his condition and that he felt "100 percent different" in his last fight on Dec. 12, 2004. Corley scored a dominant 10-round unanimous decision over 44-year-old Darryl Tyson.

Dose of Reality

When first contacted about trying out for the NBC reality television boxing series "The Contender," Great Falls 154-pounder Jimmy Lange was not at all interested.

"I'm not a big fan of reality shows," he said. "I almost never watch them, and the few that I do, they're pretty demeaning."

But Frank Stallone, brother of Sylvester Stallone, who will host the show along with Sugar Ray Leonard, persuaded Lange to give it a try. And Lange is glad he did.

"It was probably the best, funnest material thing I've ever done in my life," Lange said. "I've got a wife and kids, and those are the important things, but I wouldn't trade this experience."

Lange was one of 16 fighters selected to appear on the show. He was in Los Angeles from August through October filming the series that will premiere on March 7. He is not allowed to discuss the specifics of the show, which will culminate on May 24, when two finalists fight live at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for $1 million.

Lange currently is in Vero Beach, Fla., working out with his trainer, Buddy McGirt. He is focusing on his boxing career for now -- he is 24-1-1 -- but a career in the entertainment business seems a natural next step. He was one of Washingtonian's 50 most beautiful people in the metropolitan area in 2003 and Cosmopolitan's bachelor of the year in 1999. . . . Former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman of Baltimore has signed a management deal with James Prince. The deal, first reported by the Baltimore Sun, gives Prince his first heavyweight to go along with a roster that includes undisputed 154-pound champion Winky Wright and 135-pound champion Diego Corrales. . . . The Capitol Gloves Amateur Boxing Program, featuring amateur boxers from 9 to 30 years old, will be held at the D.C. Armory today at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

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