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By Michael Amakor

On my tour of the DC Boxing and Fitness Center in Washington DC, I ran into former National Association of Boxing Federations (NABF) Welterweight Champion Derrell “Too Sweet” Coley

For the benefit of fans with foggy memories, Coley turned professional in 1990 after a highly successful amateur career with a record of 96 wins, 4  losses including winning two golden gloves and a championship at the AAU Regionals.

He immediately made a mark in boxing by stopping former WBC Light Welterweight Champion Saoul Mamby by 1st round kayo. He went unbeaten in 28 fights and finally captured the vacant NABF Welterweight title four years later. He defended that belt twice before losing a hotly contested twelve round decision to mandatory challenger Oba Carr in 1995. It is  important to note that most of the media and fans at ringside thought Coley clearly should have won that fight, nevertheless he rebounded from that defeat and regained his old title against Kip Diggs in 1997. He defended his title several times by beating back the challenges of Willy Wise and former IBF Middleweight title Challenger Romallis Ellis.

The highlight of his boxing career came when he competed against Oscar De La Hoya for the vacant IBC Welterweight Title. Despite a valiant effort he got stopped in the seventh round back in 2000. Since then he has gone undefeated in four fights and his professional record now stands at a very respectable 38 - 2 - 2 with 27KOS.

Here is what the former champion had to say after he had cooled down from his intense training session.

Amakor: I see you training intensely, do you have a fight scheduled

Coley: I am working on a few things in the gym with my new trainer Zeke, and I may return in November or in January 2006, I have no fight scheduled right now though

Amakor: You have not fought since 2003, who do you want to fight right now

Coley: I am willing to fight anybody, I honestly believe I can beat any of the champions out there.

Amakor: You spent most of your career in the welterweight division, are you going back to the division

Coley: I will be returning to the ring at 154 (light Middleweight Division)

Amakor: You have been involved in so many great fights, which fight do you remember the most.

Coley: I really enjoyed my fight and I believe I gave one of my best performances against Oba Carr, I honestly believe I won that fight hands down no matter what the judges say..

Amakor: This brings me to your fight against De la Hoya (his eyes light up)

Coley: You know everybody talks about that fight, fans do not remember that that he did not make the mandatory weight for the fight, but they cheated me, my two loses were not fair fights, I got cheated. In my book I have never lost a fair fight.

Amakor: Why have you not fought since 2003

Coley: I had to take some time off from the game.

Amakor: There have been a few gaps in your career after the De La Hoya fight, what happened during those periods.

Coley: I had a few management problems that could not allow me focus on boxing, but everything is great right now, my team is strong and I am ready to make a comeback.

Amakor: What are your boxing goals right now

Coley: I am on a mission right now to get one last title shot against any of the champions out there and retire from the game for good without sustaining any life threatening injuries. (checks his watch)

Amakor: Thank you for time Derrell.



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