“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.”
Chase has been outspoken on his belief that being incarcerated only turns a person into more of a criminal, but my true interest in him came not because he’s done time, but because he is a single father and a professional prizefighter. On the surface, we know that one demands gentleness while the other tenacity. But there are similarities. And surely struggles to balance both. Here’s my brief interview with Chase:
As a former professional MMA fighter, I’m often interested in how athletes enter into combat sports. Can you tell us how you discovered boxing, and what currently sustains your fire to compete?
I got into boxing from a friend in Philly that used to box. I always wanted to box and my mother wouldn’t let me. It was like to the point where I was 15 or older, and I could do what I wanted to so I started going to the gym on my own. I would challenge my friend who had been boxing all his life and I wouldn’t always get the best end of the stick. Now, the fact that I’m undefeated and want to remain undefeated, that’s what motivates me to create my own legacy.
The balance. I’ve heard of athletes balancing their career while being a single parent – but your story is quite unique. You balance being a professional boxer with raising your 4-year-old. How do you make it work? What’s your typical schedule?
First, I have no choice but to make it work. Me and my son, we’re more like best friends and do pretty much everything together. He’s an easygoing kid so that makes it a lot easier. He wakes up about 10 AM, and starts school at 12. I work from 8 to 11 at a real estate office. I fix him breakfast, get him to school by 12, and I go to the gym from 12 to 3. He gets out of school at 3:30 and we have a little lunch or a snack, and come home. I cook dinner then I may run and then we have our family time — we might play PlayStation, watch boxing, basketball or movies. He is my life. Growing up in the street life I had the women and the parties. I won’t always have a chance to be a father. You have a short span of time to make an impact on your child’s life, like from age 3 to 12. Me being able to show him a better way of life, a different life, that is my life.
Inside it hasn’t. I’m still an animal in the ring. Outside I changed a lot — I try to have a better temperament now. Everything I do now, I have to think of my son.
Your background – of growing up in the tough streets of Philly – is well known. But you’ve turned things around. How?
By moving out of Philly. My environment is different. When you’re around positivity, you start doing positive things.
What kept you from becoming another statistic?
I always knew I could do something different, I just didn’t know what it was beside the norm, which was drugs, streets, selling dope. I always wanted to do something different.
What struggles from those days remain rooted within you?
Not having my same friends around. I lost a lot of friends through death and prison. Holding on to those memories. Trying to motivate other family members to try and get out of that environment.
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