In a testament to his character, Paul Smith donated his entire purse from his loss to Jake Quickenden at Oktagon 48, to a charity close to his heart — Weapons Down, Gloves Up.
On November 4 at the AO Arena in Manchester, the comedian swapped the microphone for the four-ounce gloves and fought his heart out in front of an adoring crowd. And while he fell short to the Dancing on Ice King, he walked away, having learned a new sport and with an enormous amount of respect from the public for what he decided to do with his money.
Showcasing his generous nature, the Liverpudlian donated every last penny of his purse to a fantastic cause in his home city. Weapons Down, Gloves Up, a volunteer-led charity, is striving to save lives through educating young minds about gun and knife crime.
In a bid to ensure that those in need have the chance to avoid the world of gang violence, the organisation is offering opportunities including sport, boxing camps, education, mental health support and employment.
Weapons Down, Gloves Up means the world to Paul Smith
Prior to setting foot in the cage, Smith discussed the importance of what the charity is doing.
Speaking at the pre-fight press conference, he explained: “These kids who are carrying knives and guns, they’re not bad kids; they’re just looking for some kind of belonging. There are broken families everywhere. They’re just looking for some kind of community and kind of belonging. That’s something we don’t have now and something I’ve found in these gyms.
“These boxing gyms, these MMA gyms, they give you discipline, a sense of community, they give you a sense of family. I think it’s massively important to get behind these charities.“
He continued: “I’m hoping that with the money, they can improve the plan that they’ve got at Liverpool. Then they can spread it out, and we’ll get some kind of franchise going where we can spread it around the country and just make some change.
“If we can help a couple of kids, and it stops one kid stabbing another kid, then it’s all been worth it. This whole last year has been worth it for me.”
Paul Smith loves jiu-jitsu
While the comic never intends to compete in MMA again, he isn’t done with martial arts as a whole. Having taken part in a jiu-jitsu tournament before his fight, he’d love to get back on the mats.
He told Sporf: “I really enjoyed doing that. I’ve got a real love for Jiu-jitsu. I’ve bought a Gi. So, I’m going to get into that. I’m looking forward to getting my first stripe on my white belt. jiu-jitsu is fantastic. It’s just chess, isn’t it? It’s really satisfying. It hurts in a very good way. But I think it’s something I’ll stick with for the rest of my life. It gives me what I need. I’m done with being punched in the face.”
Featured Image Credit: Oktagon MMA