There Was Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Now Smokin’ Jake Paul



There Was Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Now Smokin’ Jake Paul

Jake Paul is set to fight MMAer Nate Diaz, repping rugged Stockton, CA, on August 9. Looks like the social media kingpin isn't sweating the assignment that much…as evidenced by the footage of him working the speed bag while smoking a cigarette.

Nice touch, he has a towel hanging over his right shoulder as he works the bag.

The 26 year old Paul from Cleveland, Ohio, and Diaz have gone back and forth, sniping about the length of the fight. It was set for eight rounds, and Team Paul pushed for it to be made ten. The Problem Child, who has a auto-bio flick coming to Netflix, put the smokey footage on his Instagram page on Monday, and TMZ picked it up.

Jake Paul-Nate Diaz August 5, 2023

Jake lives and is training in Puerto Rico.

His message here is pretty clear: Nate Diaz should be easy work, won't need the grade A lungs for this assignment. (Of course, I can almost guarantee he's not training like that.)

“Getting my lungs ready for 10 rounds,” Paul said. “August 5th. #PaulDiaz”

One element of humor here is the fact that Nate Diaz is a pro pot stalwart, he's been open about his love for toking back before it was cool and omni present.

Actually, there actually is an issue here, because the Texas board overseeing combat sports denied his request to get an exemption and be allowed to have THC in his system.

Nevada, for one, doesn't screen for THC anymore, rightfully, because it's not to be classified as a “performance enhancer” and is in fact utilized by athletes toddle with persistent pain and is seen in many quarters as being a more responsible method of pain-relieving than using pharmaceuticals.

Apart from that, the lungs of Nate Diaz–sounds like a good title for a story, yes?–have held up OK. But,  it must be said, MMA is better for those needing a rest, because you can grapple and stall. That isn't so much an option if Paul finds himself getting stung by Jake, who yes, does actually possess better than average punching power.

Nate Diaz likes to smoke weed

Nate Diaz, now that guy loves to smoke.

Here's one thing–that image of Paul smoking lands differently today than it did a generation or two ago.

Ricardo Mayorga Made Smoking Part of His Popular Schtick

Ricardo Mayorga made smoking cool in the boxing sphere. The nutball from Nicaragua held crowns and drew considerable buzz almost all through the 2000s.

Wins over Six Heads Lewis, then Vernon Forrest, gained him a boatload of fans who loved his carefree free-swinging style in the ring, combined with his massive love for tobacco products.

Larry Merchant howls as Ricardo Mayorga smokes in center ring, post-win

Nobody stopped Ricardo Mayorga from lighting up and puffing. Larry Merchant appreciated the gesture, looks like

He'd light up in the ring, post win, when allowed to do so.

In a 2006 into 2008 run, Mayorga punched and puffed against Oscar De La Hoya, then Fernando Vargas and then Shane Mosley. The fierce competitor and butt lover has battled substance issues.

Ricardo Mayorga, in his Smokin' prime

Ricardo Mayorga, in his Smokin' prime. He gave you a chuckle when boxing was acting too serious. Also, he came to swing, and to win.

At 49, we hear and hope he's doing OK these days.

You all would be surprised, probably, how many athletes smoke (weed more so than tobacco) and don't factor that in to how it may affect their lungs aka “wind.”

FINAL NOTE: To learn how Jake Paul-Nate Diaz will likely play out, read this column by ex pugilist Tommy Rainone.


Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.