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An Interview With Middleweight Boxing Champion, Cleveland Corder.

Professional middleweight boxer Cleveland Corder faces his hardest test yet as he prepares to fight Jesse Brinkley, from the Contender Series, for the third time. See how this preparation is going and what changes he has made.

Professional middleweight boxer Cleveland Corder faces his hardest test yet as he prepares to fight a man known to be one of the hardest hitting fighters in the business, Las Vegas Nevada's Top Contender participant Jesse Brinkley.

Corder lost to Brinkley twice, the first time by technical knockout and the second by knockout, despite being ahead on the scorecards both times. Cleveland feels he has a great chance of beating the only man to have ever beaten him come January 26, 2007.

These two fighters last met in March 2004 and since then Cleveland racked up a string of wins, four of these coming from knockout. His near flawless record has ranked him ahead of Jesse, and on this basis and considering the major improvements he has made to his game, he feels certain of victory.

The tough Idaho resident put together the perfect fight strategy along with a new and improved nutrition plan. He says he has never been more confident of success. In the following interview he tells all about his plans to demolish Brinkley, to place himself in line for a World Title shot.

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[ Q ] When I spoke with you in September 2005, you were preparing for a re-match with Jesse Brinkley. What happened? Why did this fight not eventuate?

    Well we talked and it came down to money. As long as something better doesn't come along, if someone doesn't offer him more money, we are scheduled to fight. Right now I know he is throwing his name in the hat to do the Contender European tour - they are only taking six of all the Contenders to go - and if he is picked he might stand to make more money than staying here to fight me. As a competitive boxer I understand that if there is better money out there you should take it.

[ Q ] So the December date has been postponed?

    Yes we had to postpone it to January 26 because of the Contender thing. I can't be having him jump ship on me three weeks out from the fight.

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[ Q ] How long have you been specifically training for this, your third fight with Jesse?

[ Q ] Given Jesse has beaten you twice in the past, I can see why winning this fight means so much to you. Are there any additional motivating factors for you going into this fight?

    Not really because I am ranked higher than he is and he lost his last fight. I have got it going for me now. My only motivation is the fact he fought me twice and both times he stopped me, but I was ahead on the scorecards both times. That was the kicker.

[ Q ] You have won your last five fights, three of these by TKO and one by technical decision. Any predictions on how you will go against Jesse? Could it be an early stoppage or will it go the distance?

    The plan is to go to the body. I know I can outbox him for sure, but the two times I have seen him get hurt is when his opponents went to the body. So my goal is to get in there and tear that body up. If I was going to actually give a prediction I would say I think I can stop him with body shots, or win by decision.

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[ Q ] How does Jesse compare to your last five opponents? What unique challenges does he present as a fighter?

    My last opponent, Daniel Stanisavljevic, a Russian based out of Los Angeles, was just so tough. I never fought anyone so tough, someone you could hit five times to the head and body and he just smiles and keeps on coming at you. He would have been the perfect warm-up for Jesse. He was a guy you could throw a sledgehammer at and you would not be able to get him out of there. He just keeps walking forward until he lands a punch.

    Writers Note:
    Cleveland won his May 2006 fight with Stanisavljevic by way of Technical Decision.

[ Q ] It must be intimidating to be on the receiving end of that kind of fighter. How do you deal with the pressure of someone continually coming at you like that? How do you hang in there?

    I'm thinking at the time that I'm going to hit him more than he hits me. That's the way you have to look at it. I'm happy because I landed three shots and he only landed one. I just had to accept the fact that I was not going to get him out, but what you have to understand is that I am also going to hit him with three shots to his one.

[ Q ] What unique challenges does Jesse present as a fighter compared to your last five opponents, all of whom you defeated?

    The biggest challenge he presents is the fact he has got the knockouts over me, and that always plays a role when you go into a fight. I remember in the first re-match I basically gave up the first round just to make sure I could take his shots. So I lost the first round just trying to determine Jesse's strengths.

    I was saying to myself: "Is it okay, am I okay?" After the first round it was like, "Yes I am okay, I can do this." For this fight I'm definitely going to try not to have this happen. I will just go in there and do what I do best: I will just outbox the guy and tear his guts up. That's what I'm going to do instead of worrying about getting caught, but if it happens it happens - you can't control it.

Click To Enlarge.
Cleveland Knocking Out Brent Cooper In The 2nd Round.

[ Q ] So straight from the opening bell you will be on the offence?

    Yes, right from the get-go I will start throwing.

[ Q ] You mentioned your game plan includes going to the body. Are there any other strategies in place to counter Jesse's power?

    I'm going to rip the guts up and instead of moving on the guy I will be more of a James Toney "Stay right on him" fighter. I will get closer to him and just step on the angles. Just use the angles and move on him instead on keeping at arms' length all the time.

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[ Q ] You say that mentally you have been focused on this one for a long time, and your motivation for winning has not changed. Has your training schedule changed in any way?

    The training schedule doesn't really change; it is more a case of changing sparring partners. You have to bring in the right people. My last sparring partner when I was training for Brinkley was Kenny King, a big, rugged tough guy. This time I will get more of a boxer/puncher type so I can work on my speed and movement, and stay inside also.

[ Q ] So you specifically select sparring partner based on whom you will be fighting?

    I know Jesse and I know he is a man who is going to come in and try to knock me out. That's just Jesse. He has done it once and he has stopped me a second time. And he thinks he can do it again, so that is what he will come in and try to do, try to end it quick with me on the corners throwing at him. My partners are selected specifically to help me counter Jesse's style.

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[ Q ] You obviously have a record for knocking your opponents out as well so it is going to be interesting so see who does get the upper hand.

    It is going to be a great fight and I think it will be a fight that sells-out here. Jesse also brings a big crowd; he has a big following out in Nevada. It will be a great fight and good way for me to kick off an opportunity for a crack at a World Title.

[ Q ] While a World Title fight is a big goal of yours and the Jesse fight might help that come to fruition, will there be any other obstacles in the way of realizing this dream? What does the World Title fight process involve?

    I'm trying to get Jesse and he is in a different weight class (for the World Title) - I'm on a campaign at 154 while Jesse fights at 168 - but I think I will clean my record up completely when I beat Jesse, and the people know me out there, know what I'm capable of and I will be more than happy to fight a top ten guy if I need to, to get ranked and get my shot. With regard to the Jesse fight being a stepping-stone, I agree with you 100-percent.

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[ Q ] Considering how much is on the line for you going in to the Jesse fight, and the additional pressure of proving you are the better fighter, how are you coping mentally?

    Well you know even though I did feel the pressure the first time and I did the re-match and he beat me even though I was winning on all scorecards, I still know I can completely and easily outbox him. I don't have to prove that anymore.

    The first fight went too quick and too short for me to actually know Jesse as a fighter, his fighting style, but the second fight went nine rounds and actually there was only one second left in the ninth, so I don't really have any pressure this time around. I know I'm a better fighter and boxer and he knows I'm a better fighter and boxer. He has caught me twice, but I know I'm the better boxer, but he has the bigger punch.

[ Q ] What diet and supplementation programs have you followed leading up to this fight?


    This has probably been my greatest asset this time, an improved nutrition and supplement plan. I have been using Stallone's high protein puddings; I've been using a lot of protein powders and also a lot of Xyience energy drinks.

    I have just cut out all the fat and replaced it with more protein and it has been easier to cut the weight. It is much easier this way than cutting the food out.

[ Q ] So you have found supplements to really benefit your program?

    Yes, the supplements have been a big plus to me. I have also been using a product called HDT5 + 1, a whey protein formula. Also there is a supplement called PROvision-6 along with various vitamins.

[ Q ] What kind of effects have thee supplements had other than to help you make weight?

    They have completely helped me to fine-tune my body and bring out the muscle, without having to worry about adding all the fat.

[ Q ] Today fighters have to take every advantage right?

    Right. I think today fighters are using nutritionists more often. I actually hired a nutritionist and then stepped in to help; Russ put me on a program to where I now don't have to hire a nutritionist to get down in weight because now I can take the right supplements at the right times to provide me with what I need to make the weight without killing myself.

[ Q ] Could you provide me with an example of what you would eat on a typically training day?


    I wake up at 5:30 and have egg whites and salsa and a cup of fruit. Then I go do my roadwork before coming back and having a Stallone pudding snack. I will then go to the gym. After the gym I will come home and eat a salad with a non-fat dressing and turkey slices and maybe some pinto beans.

    I will rest before doing my evening workout. Then I will come home to a night snack, which usually consists of pineapple with some more protein pudding. My other supplements I will take in between when needed.

[ Q ] I imagine you are becoming more regimented as the fight approaches.

    Yes, I need to eat more often, check my weight more often. Rest is also structured in accordingly. It was hard for a fighter like me, who has been through the whole amateur program - I was on the USA boxing team and I defeated Russian and Korean fighters - to stick to the right nutrition plan.

    On the amateur circuit to make weight we just quit eating. It is hard for me to understand that you need to eat more times and less, better quality foods.

Click To Enlarge.
Cleveland Against Steve Walker.

[ Q ] So you have learned as you go it seems. Who else has helped you to get your diet on track?

    We hired a nutritionist and we sat down with her and and she wrote up a diet plan for me outlining what and when I would eat, and what supplements I would take. Russ from then lined me up with the right products in line with her recommendations. I have found that if you eat the right foods your body will completely change.

[ Q ] In what other ways have you changed as a fighter?

    I have changed my approach to training. I used to train twice a day, but now I train three-times-a-day. I have a personal trainer to help me do a lot of plyometrics and some stretching which is helping me to get limber and flexible. I never added that until about a year ago. So I am definitely an improved fighter.

[ Q ] Let's hope these improvements will help you in your fight with Jesse. Do you have any final words regarding the fight?

    I just hope I can fulfill my potential.

Click To Enlarge.
"I Just Hope I Can Fulfill My Potential."

[ Q ] All the best Cleveland.

    Thank you David.

    VIDEO: Cleveland Corder demolishes Brent Cooper on Sep 30th at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, ID.