Jake Gyllenhaal showed off his new fighter’s body and impressive abs in the first still from his upcoming film Southpaw.

Jake Gyllenhaal Transforms in Southpaw

In Southpaw, Gyllenhaal plays Billy ‘The Great’ Hope, a lefty Junior Middleweight Champion who has to fight his way back to the top after dealing with a personal tragedy. The first photo released from the Anthony Fuqua-directed film shows Gyllenhaal in full fighting shape, with a bloody lip and an intimidating physique.

The actor reportedly gained 15-pounds of muscle for the role and trained every day to portray the fighter. Fuqua said he even had Gyllenhaal training in Floyd Mayweather’s gym, and that the two studied Mayweather’s fights to prepare for filming.

“Jake is going to change how people see him. I had him training twice a day in the boxing ring, he did two-a-days seven days a week. I pretty much had him with me and my trainer every day. I took him to almost every fight…We literally turned him into a beast,” Fuqua told Deadline.


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Fuqua revealed that training for the role required Gyllenhaal’s complete focus, which might have upset his significant other. “I think he broke up with his girlfriend because he was just in the gym every day. He was training like a fighter. I had him sparring, really getting hit. I put him in situations where I wanted to see what he was made of. No one but fighters understand the sacrifice it takes to be a fighter,” Fuqua added.

Gyllenhaal has been cultivating a reputation for his willingness to physically transform himself for a role. Most recently, Gyllenhaal lost 30 pounds to play Louis Bloom in Nightcrawler.

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