12 Rounds With ... Chordale Booker

The undefeated super welterweight contender has been fighting all of his life. This Saturday night, he takes a major step up in class, facing Wale Omotoso on PBC on FS1.

Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KOs) fought his way off the streets. Today, he’s fighting his way toward a world title.

Booker has amassed a 14-0 record, stopping seven opponents inside the distance. On Saturday night at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Booker, 28, he will attempt to continue his climb toward the top when he faces veteran Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KOs) in a 10 round, super welterweight clash.

The fight is part of a stacked card, headlined by another 154-pound showdown, Austin Trout versus Terrell Gausha, live on PBC on FS1 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

Why is your nickname The Gift?

I just felt like the stuff that I went through…I was arrested when I was 18. I’m supposed to be in jail until I’m 32 and the judge gave me a second chance.

He gave me three years probation. I had to do a drug program and a couple of things that were annoying at the time but I was so appreciative and grateful because anything at that point beats jail.

So, from that, I came with my name “The Gift.” I’m gonna be a gift to my community. I try to give back with everything I do to the kids that were like me. I have a gift, and that is trying to steer kids the other way.

Which fighters inspired you the most?

Pernell Whitaker. I love the way he boxed as a southpaw I think he’s one of the greatest southpaws of all-time. Marvin Hagler, also a southpaw, and of course the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali. As a Black individual he did it his way and nobody else’s.

How difficult is it to turn your opponent round after round?

It all depends on the fighter. Sometimes I don’t even like to turn depending on what kind of shots they’re coming back with.

If they’re coming back with a lot of left hooks, then I’ll just stand there and roll my shoulder and counter with my left hand. It all depends on how the fight is going and how hard they’re pressing me.

Do you like to pick up the pace the more you figure your opponent out?

Yes, the more I figure out about a fighter, the more I’m gonna pick it up—unless that’s what they need me to do. Unless they need me to stand there and be there to trade with me. But I’m still gonna be active with my hands.

How would you describe your style?

I’m all action, whether I’m going forward or backward.

If I’m going backward, that means the guy is pressing me hard and I’m letting my hands go; using my angles and picking my shots.

If he’s going backward, then I’m going forward with everything.

How much do you pride yourself on your ring IQ?

I like to let my hands go. First couple of rounds, I’m always trying to see what the other guy has. However, I’m still active cause I don’t wanna give away rounds. At the same time, I’m trying to feel out which shots they’re trying to counter with or trying to lead with to set up their attack.

In the street, there ain’t no stopping the fight if you’re getting beaten up. Undefeated Super Welterweight - Chordale Booker

How old were you when you started boxing?

My first fight was when I was 19-years-old. I started boxing three months before that.

What got me into boxing was that I got trouble and got arrested. I didn’t wanna be outside hanging with the same friends I had. I’m still friends with them, but I needed to separate myself. I wasn’t trying to sell drugs anymore. I wasn’t trying to get into a beef with the other side of town or get caught up in any street life. I just wanted to make sure I focused on myself and taking care of my family.

Is that a late age to get into the sport?

I feel like it’s late, but with my dedication to the sport I feel like I’m on an even playing field.

I feel like sometimes I have more of an edge than guys who started when they were real young. Because those guys, no disrespect to them, they haven’t been in real fights. I really am from the street, I really got into street fights, I really beat people up in the streets before.

They only know what it’s like to beat people up in the ring. They never had to fight for their friends or fight for their family. In the street, there ain’t no stopping the fight if you’re getting beaten up. They’re gonna finish you.

Do you feel you’ll be the first fighter to knock out Wale Omotoso?

I can, but it’s not an easy task. It’d be something good to have on my record.

He’s fought Jessie Vargas, Sammy Vasquez and Jamal James. He’s fought some real good fighters. So that is something I really want on my record, but I’m not gonna put myself out there and risk it just to get the knock out.

Why was going for the gold in 2016 so important to you?

To be honest, I didn’t care about winning a gold medal. My coach was like, “C’mon man, you won the national and they’re giving you a shot to be an Olympian.”

How many people can say that? I won the nationals. I could’ve went pro but he talked me out of it. One thing you can’t get back is time and if I just turned pro, I could’ve always turned back and said, “Wow, maybe I could’ve made the Olympics.”

So, I just gave it my best shot and came up short.

What are your goals?

To be a world champion. That is my biggest goal in the sport.

I wanna be world champion in multiple weight classes—154 and 160. In general, my goal is being a leader in my community.

How is being a shorter, southpaw an advantage for you?

I’m a slick lefty. I can get inside of these guys’ longer arms, so them trying to fight me on the inside is where I have more leverage; being lower, bending my knees and getting under the shots while working my hand speed when I get in there.

For a closer look at Trout vs Gausha, check out our fighter page.

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