Justin Bieber's buddy Lil Za told RadarOnline.com exclusively that he has started boxing "to stay out of trouble," nearly two years after he was arrested for a felony drug charge while hanging with Justin Bieber.
Lil Za, real name Xavier Smith, was on a destructive path with his "bro" Bieber. In January 2015, he was arrested on drug possession charges, and eventually copped a plea deal. Since then, he told Radar he's taken up boxing "to stay out of trouble."
The 22-year-old former rapper explained how he got in fighting shape: "I worked so hard. I went running, did strength and conditioning training and sparring. I worked with Ricky Funez at Tengoose boxing."
Lil Za said hitting his rock bottom by Bieber's side was a wake up call. "I was in all the trouble and I needed to get out," he explained. So he turned to boxing and picked it up quickly. "I'm good, I'm a fast learner. It took me a year, I was taking it pretty seriously," he said.
Lil Twist's younger brother said his dedication to training "matured me." But he admitted to Radar: "I'm not perfect. I miss the good times we used to have and I see people that are still maturing and I get the urge to want to do it again, but I don't."
Meanwhile, Lil Za said the Canadian pop star is still "my brother. He calls and checks on me. He came to the gym. For my fight he was out of the country but he called. He is definitely overseeing my career."
But Bieber had better watch out, because Lil Za told Radar he could take him in the ring. "This is what I do!" he insisted. "He's a singer. I can sing, I'm musically talented but I would beat him in the ring. He a tough guy, he's a fighter. He's very competitive. If he trained he would be able to do it."
One recent fight, where he knocked his opponent out in 25 seconds, was "a relief to get over," he said. "There were so many hours involved. I was so disciplined. I kept telling myself 'You gonna win.'"
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Lil Za told Radar that his new profession "keeps me out of the club. This keeps away the attention we brought upon ourselves. We could have been more mature. But what more do you expect? We were in the public eye and we were young." What do you think about Lil Za's boxing career? Sound off in comments below.