Jacob Smith recalls finding Muay Thai to save his life

    Jacob Smith would not have reached the heights he’s at if not for an ultimatum.

    The British fighter was slowly fading to life in the streets during his teenage years until he met his partner Rebekah. It was Rebekah, and eventually their first child Isamay, who led Smith down the right path.

    In an interview with ONE Championship, Smith said he was veering down the wrong path in life until Rebekah introduced him to Muay Thai. His introduction to the sport eventually built the foundation for his newfound passion.

    Smith revealed that Rebekah is a life-long practitioner of the sport and he heeded every bit of advice he received from her. Instead of hustling on the streets, Smith became busy working the heavy bag and looking like a natural in the “art of the eight limbs.”

    Jacob Smith said:

    “Rebekah had been doing Thai boxing from a very young age, so when we got together, she knew the stuff I was up to and said, ‘Come along to the Thai boxing with me one time.’ I’d never even heard of it, to be honest, but I went along and gave it a go. I loved it. But I was still out and doing whatever else on the streets. I was just doing Thai boxing for fun, to keep fit, a bit of excitement.”

    Rebekah knew that it would take more of a push for Smith to fully turn his life around, and that motivation came in the form of their first child Isamay.

    “Rebekah gave me the ultimatum: either carry on what I’m doing and she will leave me, or stop it all and take Thai boxing seriously to see how far I could go. Then my little girl was born, and it was like, ‘Right, I need to stop doing this, or I’ll end up getting killed or in jail.’

    Jacob Smith is now on the precipice of worldwide success

    What started out as a way to get off the streets became a way of life for Jacob Smith. Rebekah is still beside him every step of the way, while Isamay got a little brother in Toby.

    After 10 years in the sport, Smith is now a step away from the peak. The 29-year-old already had success in the regional British scene, but he’s now on the cusp of greatness.

    Smith won’t just be making his debut for ONE Championship, but he’s taking on Thai megastar Rodtang Jitmuangnon in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix quarterfinals at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on May 20 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

    Rodtang is arguably the sport’s biggest star and he holds the ONE flyweight Muay Thai world championship. A daunting opponent to say the least, but Smith is ready for his opportunity.

    “I thought making money on the streets was going to be forever as a naive teenager. I would never have thought in a million years that I’d be fighting on the biggest platforms on the planet and being a role model for people.”

    Jacob Smith added:

    “When I was a teenager, I was horrible, but you’re talking 10 years later. I’m 29 now, and I’ve matured a lot. It’s basically a dream come true. I’ve got a second chance at life because the life I could have led would have been so much different from the life I’m leading now.”

    We’ll see if Smith can make a successful debut by shocking the world against Rodtang this Friday.

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