The ‘Big Payback’ is bringing big-time championship boxing to Memphis for the first time in 10 years, and it’s set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday night at FedExForum.
The event will be headlined by six-time WBC Champion Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley and Vivian Harris in a rematch for the WPBF World Welterweight Title.
Corley (51-30-1, 28 KO’s) has compiled an impressive fighting resumé so far and will look to add to it. He’s squared off against many world-class boxers including Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Meanwhile, Harris enters the fight at 32-12-2 and 19 KO’s. Corley won their first matchup by unanimous decision in May 2017.
“A lot of people don’t know Demarcus Corley is a boxing legend,” said fight promoter Langston “Lank The King” Hampton. “He’s one of the last dying breeds.”
The undercard will feature several fighters from Mayweather Promotions, Affiliation Management and the Memphis area. Mayweather won’t be in the ring, but will attend the fight and host an after party at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
In the other main event, Lanell “KO” Bellows will face off against Lamar Smith in an eight-round bout. Both fighters are Missouri natives, which means a fairly short drive for their families to cheer them on.
Mayweather Promotions and Affiliation Management’s Charvis Holifield will face off against West Memphis native Donald Ward for the ABF title.
Five-time World Champion Ava Knight from Mayweather Promotions will also be on the card, fighting for her sixth world title. Knight took some time off from boxing, but was consistently on the Top 10 pound-for-pound best female boxer list from 2011-2015.
So for those counting, you’re counting correctly: There will be FOUR championship titles on the line, which will include three title defenses from Mayweather Promotions, and another in the main event.
You may also notice that several boxers are relatively local, from areas not too far from Memphis. Hampton and his event consultant, Larry Dodson Jr. noticed that previous championship fights had never featured Memphis natives on the card. Part of their plan was to change that and not only reach the city of Memphis with the fight, but the surrounding states and big cities as well.
“If you got undercard fighters, use guys that are from the town,” Dodson said. “Highlight people from the city that you are bringing the match to. They probably have local fans.”
Dodson and Hampton are well aware of how much the fans love to see the entertainment and boxing. Dodson even stated that Hampton tells the fighters involved to make sure they’re going out there giving the fans something to want to see. This is one of the reasons Hampton isn’t worried about the entertainment the events will provide.
“There will be some knockouts… some good knockouts,” Hampton said. “They are going to be fighting for real so it’ll be a good night of championship boxing.”