EXCLUSIVE: He’s not pulling punches anymore! Abel Osundairo – the brother Jussie Smollett paid to beat him up – trains with boxing champs Keith Thurman and Winky Wright as he launches fighting career after hoax scandal
- Abel Osundairo is training to launch his professional boxing career
- He recently trained with former unified welterweight world champion Keith Thurman and Winky Wright in Florida
- Abel told DailyMail.com he is excited to pursue his career now that the Jussie Smollett case is behind him
- Smollett was found guilty of lying to police by claiming he was attacked by two white or light-skinned men in January 2019
- He had in fact arranged with Abel and his brother Olabinjo for them to attack him
- The brothers testified at Smollett’s trial about how they set the hoax attack up
He may have found infamy with his botched hoax beating of Empire actor Jussie Smollett, but Abel Osundairo is not pulling any more punches.
In exclusive photos and videos obtained by DailyMail.com, the Chicago-based, Nigerian-heritage fighter is shown training with former world boxing champion Keith Thurman and Winky Wright.
With Jussie’s criminal trial behind him, Abel is now determined to make it in the boxing world.
Since that fateful night in 2019 when he roughed Jussie up and poured bleach on him at the actor’s request, he has been hard at work in the gym and is now the top in his weight class in America.
He recently received some tips from Thurman and Wright at a gym in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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Abel Osundairo trains with boxing champions Keith Thurman and Winky Wright in a gym in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday as he tries to launch his professional fighting career
Osundairo says he is eager to get on with his boxing career now that the Smollett trial is behind him
Thurman is also launching a comeback this year. He and Abel excitedly chatted about their prospects during the training session in St Petersburg
Picking up some tips: Thurman put Osundairo through his paces in the St Petersburg gym
Abel, who attended Smollett’s trial with his brother Ola, before leaving Chicago to pursue boxing, told DailyMail.com: ‘Becoming the number one ranked boxer has opened many doors and I’m excited that my boxing journey has led me to training with world champions Keith Thurman and Winky Wright as I make my way towards turning pro.’
Smollett in the hospital in January 2019 after being roughed up by the brothers in the street
Abel and his brother brought a levity to the long drawn-out trial in Chicago last year.
They posed for photographers outside court and testified with zeal, telling the jury that it was ‘colder than a penguin’s feet’ on January 29, 2019, the night of the hoax attack.
Smollett – who was released from jail pending his appeal last month – argued incessantly that he did not know who the brothers were when they attacked him.
His attorneys claimed that the pair could have been homophobic and that is why they targeted him.
They brushed off those allegations and told how they were friends of the LGBTQ community, handing out condoms while dressed up as Trojan Warriors at a Pride parade and working as bouncers at gay clubs.
Neither brother said they wanted to see Smollett go down particularly, but that they wanted to tell the truth.
Abel (left) and his brother Ola (right) testified at Smollett’s trial about how he’d instructed them to beat him up. They said they went along with it because they were friends, but became overwhelmed when police got involved
Smollett at his sentencing hearing begging the judge not to put him behind bars. He was released after five days
No hard feelings: Abel says he never wanted to see Smollett go to jail but that he felt it was important to tell the truth
Smollett was convicted of lying to police for repeatedly claiming in the aftermath of the hoax attack that he did not know his attackers, and that they were white or light-skinned Trump supporters.
While unorthodox, prosecutors repeatedly pointed out that it was not a crime for them to have agreed to Smollett’s plan.
The first time they were asked about it by police, they admitted that Smollett had cooked the entire thing up.
Smollett was convicted last year then sentenced to five months in the Cook County Jail.
He would have likely been released after two-and-a-half had he served his time, but instead he campaigned relentlessly to be released.
He spent just five days in jail before being granted release by a sympathetic appeals court.
Before he was taken in, he shouted out in court that he was ‘not suicidal’ so if anything happened to him, it was not his own doing.
He is appealing his conviction and suing the brothers for malicious prosecution.
The brothers are suing Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian for defamation.