Vinny Paz (born Vincenzo Edward Pazienza, December 16, 1962), formerly Vinny Pazienza, is an American former professional boxer who held world titles at lightweight and light middleweight. The 2016 film Bleed for This is based on his comeback from a spinal injury.
|Real name||Vincenzo Edward Pazienza|
|Nickname(s)||The Pazmanian Devil|
|Height||5 ft 7+1⁄2 in (1.71 m)|
|Reach||70+1⁄2 in (179 cm)|
|Born||December 16, 1962|
Cranston, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Wins by KO||30|
In the 1980s, Pazienza built a reputation along the East Coast, defeating such opponents as Melvin Paul (KO 2), Joe Frazier Jr. (TKO 7), Harry Arroyo (UD 10), Nelson Bolanos (TKO 6), and Roberto Elizondo (KO in 10). His first world title fight came on June 7, 1987, in Providence, Rhode Island, where he outpointed Greg Haugen over 15 rounds to become the IBF world lightweight champion. The pair would meet two more times: Haugen recovering the title in an immediate rematch, and Pazienza prevailing in a 10-round decision in their rubber match in 1990.
Pazienza failed in title tries in the junior welterweight division: in 1988, against WBC World Champion Roger Mayweather and in 1990, against both WBO Champion Hector "Macho" Camacho and WBA World Champion Loreto Garza.
In 1991, Pazienza moved into the junior middleweight division. This movement was at the advice of his new trainer Kevin Rooney. In his first fight at junior middleweight, he won the USBA championship against Ron Amundsen in a 12-round decision. He defeated the WBA world jr. middleweight champion Gilbert Delé with a 12th-round TKO in Providence, becoming the second fighter in boxing history to win both the lightweight and junior middleweight world championships.
Pazienza was forced to relinquish the title due to a serious car accident in which his neck was broken. He was scheduled for a Jan.10 title defense against Pat Lawlor in Atlantic City but it was called off. Doctors informed him he might never walk again and would certainly never fight again. Pazienza had to wear a medical device called a Halo, a circular metal brace screwed into the skull in four spots and propped up with four metal rods. He had the Halo screwed to his skull for three months, during which time he maintained a workout regimen against doctors orders. He returned to the ring thirteen months after the accident and defeated future WBC world jr. middleweight champion Luis Santana by a 10-round decision.
After the Santana fight, Pazienza went on to defeat Brett Lally by a 6th-round TKO, and then, in another TKO, former world champion Lloyd Honeyghan in the 10th round. Pazienza went on to win the vacant IBO middleweight world title in 1993 with an 11th-round KO over Dan Sherry. Pazienza then went on to beat Roberto Durán twice, both via unanimous decision, with the IBC super middleweight title on the line both times. In the first fight, Durán put Pazienza down in Rounds 2 and 5, but referee Joe Cortez controversially ruled the Round 2 knockdown to be a slip. The first fight divided the people watching as some felt that Durán had won a close fight, but others felt that Pazienza had won either narrowly or widely after finishing strongly in the last five rounds. The second fight was more lopsided in Pazienza's favour, as despite the official judges giving Pazienza the win by scores of 116–112, 117–111 and 118–110, the TV commentators expressed puzzlement at the closeness of the official scoring as they thought that Pazienza had won every round in a 120–108 shutout.
In June 1995, Pazienza lost his world title bid against IBF world super middleweight champion Roy Jones Jr. In 1996, Pazienza inflicted then-prospect Dana Rosenblatt's only loss (a knockout in four rounds) to win the vacant WBU super middleweight world championship.
In early 2001, Pazienza legally changed his last name to Paz. In 2002, he lost to WBC world super middleweight champion Eric Lucas in what would be his last shot at a world title. In 2004, Paz fought in his last fight, defeating Tocker Pudwill via 10-round unanimous decision. His record stands at 50–10, with 30 wins by knockout and five world titles (the IBF lightweight championship, WBA jr. middleweight championship, IBO super middleweight championship, IBC super middleweight championship, and the WBU super middleweight championship). He also won the USBA title. He had a very serious gambling addiction and even after his career, wasted over $10 million on his lifestyle and blackjack.
On November 12, 1991, Pazienza was a passenger in a car that was involved in a head-on collision in Warwick, Rhode Island, at an estimated speed of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h), as a result of which he suffered a dislocated vertebra and two fractured vertebrae in his neck. The driver of his car suffered a head injury and the driver of the oncoming car suffered minor injuries. Pazienza sued both drivers and was awarded $926,000, after the District Court for the District of Rhode Island ruled that the driver of the car in which Pazienza was a passenger was solely responsible for causing the accident.
Outside of boxing, Paz was a guest star on the TV series Police Academy, a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, was featured on The Montell Williams Show, served as a guest security guard on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show, and refereed the Brawl for All fight at WrestleMania XV between Bart Gunn and Butterbean. He appeared in the unreleased 1997 movie The Good Life.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|60 fights||50 wins||10 losses|
|60||Win||50–10||Tocker Pudwill||UD||10||Mar 27, 2004||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|59||Loss||49–10||Eric Lucas||UD||12||Mar 1, 2002||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.||For WBC super middleweight title|
|58||Win||49–9||Levan Easley||UD||10||Dec 7, 2001||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|57||Win||48–9||Tim Shocks||UD||10||Sep 21, 2001||Rhodes-on-the Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|56||Win||47–9||Pat Lawlor||KO||2 (10), 1:52||Jul 27, 2001||Rhodes-on-the Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|55||Loss||46–9||Aaron Davis||TKO||8 (10), 1:48||Feb 9, 2001||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|54||Loss||46–8||Dana Rosenblatt||SD||12||Nov 5, 1999||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.||For vacant IBO super middleweight title|
|53||Win||46–7||Esteban Cervantes||SD||10||Jun 25, 1999||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|52||Win||45–7||Joseph Kiwanuka||UD||10||Apr 9, 1999||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|51||Win||44–7||Undra White||TKO||9 (10), 2:55||Jan 8, 1999||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|50||Win||43–7||Arthur Allen||UD||10||Nov 6, 1998||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|49||Win||42–7||Glenwood Brown||MD||10||Jul 26, 1998||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|48||Loss||41–7||Herol Graham||UD||12||Dec 6, 1997||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England||For WBC International super middleweight title|
|47||Win||41–6||Dana Rosenblatt||TKO||4 (12), 2:13||Aug 23, 1996||Bally's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won vacant WBU super middleweight title|
|46||Loss||40–6||Roy Jones Jr.||TKO||6 (12), 2:58||Jun 24, 1995||Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||For IBF super middleweight title|
|45||Win||40–5||Roberto Durán||UD||12||Jan 14, 1995||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained IBC super middleweight title|
|44||Win||39–5||Rafael Williams||UD||10||Nov 8, 1994||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|43||Win||38–5||Roberto Durán||UD||12||Jun 25, 1994||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||Won vacant IBC super middleweight title|
|42||Win||37–5||Jacques LeBlanc||UD||10||Apr 5, 1994||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|41||Win||36–5||Dan Sherry||KO||11 (15), 2:59||Dec 28, 1993||Ritz Carlton, Aspen, Colorado, U.S.||Won vacant IBO super middleweight title|
|40||Win||35–5||Robbie Sims||UD||10||Oct 26, 1993||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|39||Win||34–5||Lloyd Honeyghan||TKO||10 (12), 0:56||Jun 26, 1993||Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|38||Win||33–5||Brett Lally||RTD||6 (10), 3:00||Mar 2, 1993||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|37||Win||32–5||Luis Santana||UD||10||Dec 15, 1992||Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.|
|36||Win||31–5||Gilbert Delé||TKO||12 (12), 2:10||Oct 1, 1991||Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.||Won WBA light middleweight title|
|35||Win||30–5||Ron Amundsen||UD||12||Jul 2, 1991||Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.||Won IBF–USBA light middleweight title|
|34||Loss||29–5||Loreto Garza||DQ||11 (12), 2:59||Dec 1, 1990||Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, U.S.||For WBA light welterweight title|
|33||Win||29–4||Greg Haugen||UD||10||Aug 5, 1990||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|32||Loss||28–4||Hector Camacho||UD||12||Feb 3, 1990||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||For WBO light welterweight title|
|31||Win||28–3||Eddie VanKirk||TKO||5 (10), 2:41||Nov 27, 1989||Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|30||Win||27–3||Vinnie Burgese||TKO||10 (10), 1:05||Jun 11, 1989||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|29||Win||26–3||Jake Carollo||TKO||2 (10), 1:58||Apr 14, 1989||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|28||Loss||25–3||Roger Mayweather||UD||12||Nov 7, 1988||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||For WBC light welterweight title|
|27||Win||25–2||Rick Kaiser||TKO||3 (10), 1:24||Oct 4, 1988||Park West, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|26||Win||24–2||Felix Dubray||TKO||4 (10), 1:34||Jun 27, 1988||Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|25||Loss||23–2||Greg Haugen||UD||15||Feb 6, 1988||Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Lost IBF lightweight title|
|24||Win||23–1||Greg Haugen||UD||15||Jun 7, 1987||Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.||Won IBF lightweight title|
|23||Win||22–1||Roberto Elizondo||TKO||10 (10), 2:56||Feb 8, 1987||Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|22||Win||21–1||Roger Brown||TKO||4 (10), 2:53||Nov 8, 1986||San Juan, Puerto Rico, U.S.|
|21||Win||20–1||Nelson Bolanos||TKO||6 (12), 2:48||Sep 18, 1986||Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|20||Win||19–1||Harry Arroyo||UD||10||May 18, 1986||Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|19||Win||18–1||Joe Frazier Jr.||TKO||7 (10), 1:52||Feb 5, 1986||Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|18||Win||17–1||Melvin Paul||TKO||2 (10)||Nov 26, 1985||Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|17||Win||16–1||Jeff Bumpus||UD||10||Sep 18, 1985||Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|16||Win||15–1||Antoine Lark||TKO||6 (8), 2:46||Mar 27, 1985||Harrah's Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|15||Loss||14–1||Abdelkader Marbi||TKO||5 (8)||Dec 1, 1984||Palazzo Dello Sport, Milan, Italy|
|14||Win||14–0||Bruno Simili||TKO||3 (8)||Nov 17, 1984||Riva del Garda, Italy|
|13||Win||13–0||Rich McCain||UD||8||Aug 29, 1984||Sands Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Mike Golden||PTS||8||Apr 15, 1984||Sands Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||David Bell||TKO||4 (8)||Feb 26, 1984||Beaumont Civic Center, Beaumont, Texas, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Jose Ortiz||KO||6 (8), 2:37||Dec 14, 1983||Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Emilio Diaz||TKO||3 (?)||Dec 2, 1983||Warwick, Rhode Island, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Robert Stevenson||KO||1 (6), 1:45||Oct 27, 1983||Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Jim Zelinski||TKO||2 (6)||Sep 24, 1983||Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Ricardo Moreno||TKO||3 (6), 2:42||Sep 9, 1983||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Rafael Alicia||TKO||2 (4), 2:30||Aug 31, 1983||Sands Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Eddie Carberry||TKO||2 (4)||Aug 16, 1983||Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Patrick Dangerfield Jr.||KO||2 (4)||Jul 10, 1983||Caesars Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Keith McCoy||KO||3 (4)||Jun 30, 1983||Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Alfredo Rivera||TKO||4 (4)||May 26, 1983||Sands Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
- Berger, Phil (June 8, 1987). "Boxing; Pazienza Shaken But Captures Title". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Putnam, Pat (June 15, 1987). "Local Boy Makes Good". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Berger, Phil (February 7, 1988). "Boxing; Haugen Regains I.B.F. Lightweight Crown". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Raffo, Dave (February 7, 1988). "Greg Haugen and Vinny Pazienza have boxed 30 rounds". United Press International. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Putnam, Pat (February 15, 1988). "Old Enemy, New Ending". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Putnam, Pat (August 13, 1990). "Let's Dance". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Brock, Ted (February 10, 1991). "He Decides at the Last Minute He's Not Really Retiring Type". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Berger, Phil (May 20, 1992). "Boxing; Pazienza Is Trying to Make a Comeback in More Ways Than One". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "The boxer who returned from a broken neck". BBC Sport.
- "Boxing; Pazienza Takes a Decision In Return From Broken Neck". The New York Times. December 16, 1992. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Jackman, Phil (December 10, 1992). "Never one to back down, Pazienza manages to fight off broken neck, too". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Price, Terry (December 15, 1992). "The Return of Pazienza". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Berkow, Ira (January 13, 1995). "Boxing; Vinny Pazienza's Necessary Risks". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Canfield, Owen (March 3, 1993). "He Has Right to Boast Because He Isn't Wrong". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Boxing; Pazienza Wins by Knockout". The New York Times. March 3, 1993. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Vinny Pazienza decked Lloyd Honeyghan twice and stopped him". United Press International. June 27, 1993. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Eskenazi, Gerald (June 27, 1993). "Boxing; Not Even The Towel Can Stop Pazienza". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Plummer, William (December 20, 1993). "Difficult Patient". People. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Wise, Mike (January 16, 1995). "Boxing; Age 32 Beats Age 43: It's an Old Story". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Katz, Michael (June 25, 1995). "Pazienza No Match for 'Brillaint' Jones". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Hoffer, Richard (July 3, 1995). "Beaten to the Punch Vinny Pazienza Failed to Survive Even the Merciful Pounding Delivered by Roy Jones Jr". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Katz, Michael (August 23, 1996). "Paz Receives No Respect from Tonight's Opponent". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Wise, Mike (August 25, 1996). "Pazienza Uses Tough Talk And an Even Tougher Right". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Price, Terry (February 9, 2001). "Name Changes, But Not Style". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Lucas, Paz to Fight for WBC Belt". Huron Daily Tribune. February 26, 2002. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Pazienza awarded $926,000 for injuries from car accident". Associated Press. April 11, 1997. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
- "WWE News and Pro Wrestling Coverage Since 1987". PWTorch. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- "The wild, untold story of The Good Life". Little White Lies. February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- "Bleed for This (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "Vinny Paz pleads no contest to disorderly conduct, assault charge dismissed", providencejournal.com, September 11, 2012.
- "Bad Boy Boxer: Paz picked up on warrant". Hot Boxing News. February 23, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Vinny Paz Arrested for Domestic Abuse", Boxing Scene, July 31, 2007.
- "Vinny Paz wanted for assault". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
- Nunes, Rachel (March 15, 2018). "Vinny Paz pleads no contest to domestic assault charge". WPRI-TV. Retrieved March 15, 2018.