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July 23, 2013

By Benny Henderson Jr.

Growing up in the tough streets of Philly, hanging with the wrong crowds, being incarcerated, and pretty much fighting for his life in horrific situations are experiences that have made Chase Corbin the man and fighter he is today: a father, family man and unbeaten pro boxer, Troy Corbin, who goes by Chase, was 6-0 before doing jail time in 2011. Corbin returned to the ring this past June, earning a knockout victory. Trained by Jeff Mayweather, Corbin returns to the squared circle this Friday night when he takes on Francisco Rios Gil (18-18) at the Finish Line Grill in Pomona, CA in a scheduled six-round welterweight bout. In this exclusive interview, Chase speaks out on his upcoming bout, his jail time and more. Enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: You were out of action from September of 2011 through June of 2013. That is a long layoff. So, how was it stepping back in the ring after all that time?

Chase Corbin: Of course I had the pre-fight jitters. I was rusty, but, it felt good overall. I had a purpose again, I was not just existing. I felt like I was living for something, not just for me, but for my son as well, so it felt real good to get back in there.

BH: We are not going to get all in the reasoning behind your incarceration, but I have to ask, while you were down, what was going through your mind? What did you learn. How did that time change you as a man, as a person, as a human being? How did it better you?

CC: I tell people all the time, whether you go to prison, jail or whichever, it does not rehabilitate you, believe me. Actually you come out a worse criminal, you are surrounded by nothing but criminals. You go in with an associate's degree as a criminal, you come out with a masterís degree. It was not being in there that changed me, but rather what happened outside. When you are in jail you do nothing but chill, you have a lot of things going through your head. When I came out of prison, and everything that happened, that was what really changed me. Now, I did the crime, so I did the time. I did not cry about being in there like some people. I was a man about it.

BH: You have the fight coming up this Friday against Francisco Rios Gil. He has more knockouts than you have had fights. Now, looking at his record (18-18), people are not going to be impressed. But, in my opinion, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. And in that, do you feel that makes him a much more dangerous opponent?

CC: Absolutely, you have to remember him beating me gets him more money. And me beating him will put me a step higher, as far as confidence goes. But, him beating me would put him up there where he could fight this guy now or that guy now. He would still be an opponent, but a much better opponent. I try not to think about the guy. I donít even say his name. I am ready to fight to the best of my ability. I think this is going to be a good fight for me, I am getting my timing back, I think people will see that I can really box. My last fight, I sat there and threw punches. This time I am going to box, people are going to see a nice jab, a nice hook, anything that I can pull out of my arsenal. I am looking forward to this fight.

BH: You are working with Jeff Mayweather as your trainer. Not as flamboyant, or as popular as the others in the Mayweather clan, but, a very solid trainer, a very good guy in my experiences with him. What have you learned from Jeff, and how is it working with him?

CC: With Jeff, the chemistry is very good, we have a good relationship. I can not train with anybody who I am not comfortable with. With Jeff, if I have a question, he has no problem answering, and I feel that is a part of being a good trainer. But, I also like that he does not mind starting from the bottom. He does not care if you do or do not have a title fight, he will train you. We get along outside of the gym as well. I think he has done a great job with me.

BH: Looking at yourself, what do you feel are your greatest assets as a fighter?

CC: One thing that people will notice, I have no fear when it comes to that ring, or them eight-ounce gloves. You ever seen a scared fighter? They are like the worst thing you can see in boxing... you are like damn, why did I buy this ticket? I would be pissed even if I got in for free. When I come to fight, I come to fight, we are not going to have no dance contest. I am coming to touch you and you are going to know that. Why be scared in the ring with somebody who has just gloves on? I remember running from gun shots, so why be scared of a fight in the ring?

BH: You are talking about being in prison, running from gun shots, basically a rough life, a rough upbringing. With all that being said, does that make you appreciate things more as a man?

CC: It has to. I mean, if it does not, then something is wrong. I appreciate a dollar now. They call me the Black Jew. No racist pun intended. I donít want to spend my money now. Back then, I had no problem spending thousands of dollars on clothes for me my kids or friends. But now, I appreciate a dollar, I appreciate life, I have learned the value of money through my manager. I appreciate my family. I grew up in a broken family, so I value my family now. We have a family environment now that I did not have growing up. When you almost lose your life in several different ways, you learn to appreciate it.

BH: What can the fight fans expect from Chase Corbin come fight night?

CC: Come July 26th, at approximately 8 PM, they can expect me to punch Francisco Rios Gil on the side of the head. That is my number one goal, once I touch you, I know I can hurt you. And I am looking to give the fans a good fight, hopefully a knockout, hopefully some blood. Maybe afterwards, I do not mind buying him a beer. But before, he is my enemy.

BH: Anything in closing?

CC: I get a lot of people who criticize me or hate on me. If you hate me, there is something wrong with you. How can you hate somebody that came from nothing, been through traumatic experiences and overcame adversity? If you love me, continue to love me, I always show my gratitude. I have to thank my publicist, my manager and co-manager, my trainer, my strength and conditioning coach, and I also have to thank you guys,

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