- (Photo: Reuters/Teddy Blackburn)
DeMarcus Corley, 37-year-old former WBO light welterweight world champion, has been focusing on Jesus Christ while preparing for a potentially career-changing fight against Paul McCloskey in Belfast, Ireland on Saturday.
Corley signed on to face 32-year-old McCloskey just weeks ago after Julio Diaz pulled out of a scheduled fight amid speculation about his weight. However, Corley has said he is not afraid to face McCloskey despite the odds being stacked against him for the bout.
"They have him at 9-1 on and me at 6-1 against and I know that I'm going to win on Saturday night," Corley said in a Belfast Telegraph report.
Still, the fighter said he was studying the principles of Jesus and is willing to show McCloskey love after the fight.
"I'm reading a book at the moment, 'The Secret', it relates back to the Bible and how Jesus forgave people. It teaches you about loving people," Corley said in the Telegraph. "I love Paul and after I knock him out I'll still love Paul."
McCloskey has never lost a bout at home and has only been defeated once in his entire boxing career by Amir Khan last year. However, Corley's career looks entirely different - the veteran boxer has lost 18 of his last 28 fights.
Despite that poor record, Corley managed to claim the NABF light welterweight title against the formerly undefeated New York fighter Gabriel Bracero in January. Corley has also stood toe to toe with some of the biggest names in boxing such as Floyd Mayweather Jr and Miguel Cotto, which is one of the reasons McCloskey acknowledged the bout as a notable one.
"I've always said that I would go through anyone to win a World title and that includes both Ajose and Danny Garcia," McCloskey said in a boxingnews24.com report. "Corley has been in with the very best in the business and is on a high after beating Bracero so it's a good test for me."
The fight is a chance for the winner to obtain the WBC light welterweight crown, but Corley is adamant that this is his time, and has spoken about how Jesus Christ has inspired him to keep fighting for his dream.
"When Jesus Christ was crucified, he was dead for six days and then rose on the seventh. I had six straight losses before facing Gabriel Bracero," Corley said in boxingnewsonline.net report. "I ended up beating him, so like Jesus, I was down for six and rose on the seventh. Now it's my time. I want to win the WBC belt at 140lbs and 135lbs before I retire."