Jake Giuriceo‘s stock is on the rise. The young boxer from Campbell, Ohio is winning fights and looking impressive in the process. ‘The Bull’, as he has been nicknamed, is 13-0-1 as a professional and looks better than the last fight each time I see him. Part of his success can be attributed to good management with Joe Corvino at the helm, good training with Frank Duarte and Keith Burnside splitting the responsibilities, work ethic, and a fiance who believes in him. The other part of his success is a direct result in his strong Faith and religious beliefs.
On a rainy and gloomy night, I met Guiriceo and Corvino at a local restaurant where we conducted a lengthy interview that will be broken down into three segments. I learned a lot about the charismatic young man who signed autographs for young fans who recognized him that night. I learned how focused he is on getting himself to become the best possible boxer he can be. I asked questions about religion because I have heard that Giuriceo is a very spiritual being.
Here is the first part of the Jake Giuriceo trilogy, which focuses mostly on his love of Jesus Christ and his teachings.
Paneech: Some see boxing as a barbaric sport. Some see religion as a tranquil non-violent and non-combative practice. How do the two mix in your life?
Giuriceo: That is a hard question to answer. I am going to just speak freely on the mixture of the two. What I am is a follower of Jesus Christ. My church affiliation is an Assembly of God where we strictly follow the Bible and nothing else. I am a Christian at heart. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell you not to box. Actually, there is a passage in the Bible where Paul in First Corinthians 9:26, quotes boxing. It is not barbaric to the point where it demeans religion.
Paneech: Have you faced adversity because you are so open about your beliefs?
Giuriceo: Face-to-face nobody has ever said anything to me. Aside from the time that I wore the Jesus trunks (above photo), where Jesus’ name was on my trunks eleven times and I did catch some adversity, I haven’t really had an issue with anyone. The Lord has blessed me and it has been a really good and smooth career. As far as the boxing and religion mixing, it is simple, I put The Lord first in everything that I do. The Bible tells you to put God first with all heart, mind, body, and soul, and everything else falls into place. I give 100% in the gym at all times. The Lord tells you to give 100% at all times, don’t slack or just go through the motions. There is no problem with it.
Paneech: Let me rephrase it then so you see the question from a different angle. Let’s say you had a bad day in the past couple of months. You are at a point in the day where you are going to either say, ‘I am going to the gym to work my frustration out’, or, ‘I am going to go home and get into my Bible’, which route do you go?
Giuriceo: It would depend on what time of the day it is. If it is time to go to the gym, than I am going to go to the gym. When I get done at the gym, I will go home and read my Bible. If I go to the gym and come home frustrated, I will go home and read my Bible. I do both. I know I am beating around the bush and not answering the question, but I really do both, and that is my honest answer. If I am driving down the road at three-thirty, I know I have to go to the gym. Maybe I will stop and pray first, I always pray before my workouts anyway. I stay in contact with God 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I don’t necessarily need a Bible in my hands to stay in touch.
Giuriceo is genuinely persuaded by his religious beliefs and I admire the way he handles himself under any circumstance. His Faith is real and those around him could not begin to tell you that there is no gimmick in his prayers. He would be thankful and religious without boxing and should be an inspiration to those who take shortcuts in life and make excuses of never having enough time to read scripture.
In Part Two next week, we will talk about boxing, the dual-trainer situation, the future, and the expectations.