Boxing saved Jake Paul’s life, says his coach

Jake Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer, is rumoured to be fighting Tyson Fury's brother, Tommy, next. We had a chat with Paul's trainer, Danny Smith, to discuss Paul's boxing career and the impact it has had on his life.

Smith: Boxing saved Paul’s life… his ‘rage and anger’ from childhood drives him and you have to ‘kill’ him to beat him.

“He told me that boxing really, truly saved his life from the life that he was living prior to boxing. The entertainment lifestyle of having fun and partying, stuff like that could be self destructive to a guy like Jake. Jake’s going to make boxing a career for himself instead because it pays very, very well. And it's something that gives him the freedom to release whatever frustration and anger from his past that maybe he doesn't discuss. Boxing is his outlet and it has served him really, really well with that.

“He has a love for training and he is a true student. He's listening. He's so dedicated. He's so invested. And he's someone that invests not just their money and their time, but their every thought and effort and desire. His mentality and his will is so frickin strong.  I would say Diego Corrales is like Jake. You almost have to kill them to beat them. Jake has that will.

“I think it [the will] comes from some trauma as a kid in his past. So there was some bullying going on somewhere, possibly. There's a lot of rage and anger or something in his childhood. And that's what normally elevates fighters, like the ones that come from poverty. It's the same kind of drama and anger and abuse somewhere. And they release it into boxing.”

Updated on 06/13/2024
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Smith: Sparring with Paul is a ‘life or death situation’...he’ll become a top ten light heavyweight

“I find it to be very, very fun working with Jake. The media and a lot of fighters don't know how well he's progressing and they really don't know how serious he is. And they're going to be underestimating him when they get in there until they feel his presence, his strength, his power, his speed. We've noticed that with a lot of sparring partners because they get in there and they're like: 'wow, it's a life or death situation in there with him and he's better than we thought' the world is going to see that. 

"The most important thing that I'm working on is his defence, his understanding of the selection of punches that you can throw and that same selection of punches that can come back. So defence is a huge factor in surviving in boxing.

“I know for sure that we're not going to be at cruiserweight. We're going to come to light heavy. 175. We've just been fighting at the 190-192 limit. He's just floating around that weight. But he will be a 175 pounder and he will crack the top ten [in the world].

“He has to stay so locked into his training because he knows that he doesn't have the amateur background. So we're training all year round. We're working on things all year round. It's not like we meet like the typical former champion or current champion and work out for eight weeks and then we disperse. We keep working all year round.”

Smith: Paul planning show in Puerto Rico ft. Amanda serrano after refurbing 'insanely horrible' local gyms

"Jake is a great advocate for underprivileged children. He remodelled some really destroyed boxing gyms here in Puerto Rico. He supplied a lot of kids that didn't have equipment with equipment. He's remodelled these gyms. He's going to put on an actual fight for all Puerto Ricans here in Puerto Rico - he's promoting a show. And he's going to bring Amanda Serrano home for her people to see. 

"The gyms here were terrible. The gyms are insanely horrible. And he came through with new rings and flooring, the bags, painting, the ceilings, air conditioning because without A.C. here you've got a serious problem."

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Photo by Dan Burton