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.

Vinny Paz
VinnyPaz1994.jpg
Paz in 1994
Statistics
Real nameVincenzo Edward Pazienza
Nickname(s)The Pazmanian Devil
Weight(s)Lightweight
Light middleweight
Super middleweight
Height5 ft 7+12 in (1.71 m)
Reach70+12 in (179 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born (1962-12-16) December 16, 1962 (age 59)
Cranston, Rhode Island, U.S.
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights60
Wins50
Wins by KO30
Losses10

Professional careerEdit

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.[1][2] The pair would meet two more times: Haugen recovering the title in an immediate rematch,[3][4][5] and Pazienza prevailing in a 10-round decision in their rubber match in 1990.[6]

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.[7][8]

In 1991, Pazienza moved into the junior middleweight division. This movement was at the advice of his new trainer Kevin Rooney.[9] 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.[8][10]

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.[11][12] 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.[10][13]

After the Santana fight, Pazienza went on to defeat Brett Lally by a 6th-round TKO,[14][15] and then, in another TKO, former world champion Lloyd Honeyghan in the 10th round.[16][17] Pazienza went on to win the vacant IBO middleweight world title in 1993 with an 11th-round KO over Dan Sherry.[18] 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.[19]

In June 1995, Pazienza lost his world title bid against IBF world super middleweight champion Roy Jones Jr.[20][21] 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.[22][23]

In early 2001, Pazienza legally changed his last name to Paz.[24] In 2002, he lost to WBC world super middleweight champion Eric Lucas in what would be his last shot at a world title.[25] 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.

Neck injuryEdit

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.[26] 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.[26]

Television/film appearancesEdit

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.[27] He appeared in the unreleased 1997 movie The Good Life.[28]

The 2016 film Bleed for This is based on his comeback from a spinal injury, and stars Miles Teller as Pazienza.[29]

Legal issuesEdit

Paz has been arrested on a variety of criminal charges, including alcohol-related crimes, domestic violence, passing bad checks, and disorderly conduct.[30][31][32][33][34]

Professional boxing recordEdit

60 fights 50 wins 10 losses
By knockout 30 3
By decision 20 6
By disqualification 0 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
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 IBFUSBA 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.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Berger, Phil (June 8, 1987). "Boxing; Pazienza Shaken But Captures Title". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Putnam, Pat (June 15, 1987). "Local Boy Makes Good". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Berger, Phil (February 7, 1988). "Boxing; Haugen Regains I.B.F. Lightweight Crown". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Raffo, Dave (February 7, 1988). "Greg Haugen and Vinny Pazienza have boxed 30 rounds". United Press International. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Putnam, Pat (February 15, 1988). "Old Enemy, New Ending". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  6. ^ Putnam, Pat (August 13, 1990). "Let's Dance". Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Brock, Ted (February 10, 1991). "He Decides at the Last Minute He's Not Really Retiring Type". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  8. ^ a b 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.
  9. ^ "The boxer who returned from a broken neck". BBC Sport.
  10. ^ a b "Boxing; Pazienza Takes a Decision In Return From Broken Neck". The New York Times. December 16, 1992. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Price, Terry (December 15, 1992). "The Return of Pazienza". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Berkow, Ira (January 13, 1995). "Boxing; Vinny Pazienza's Necessary Risks". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  14. ^ Canfield, Owen (March 3, 1993). "He Has Right to Boast Because He Isn't Wrong". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "Boxing; Pazienza Wins by Knockout". The New York Times. March 3, 1993. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "Vinny Pazienza decked Lloyd Honeyghan twice and stopped him". United Press International. June 27, 1993. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  17. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (June 27, 1993). "Boxing; Not Even The Towel Can Stop Pazienza". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  18. ^ Plummer, William (December 20, 1993). "Difficult Patient". People. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  19. ^ Wise, Mike (January 16, 1995). "Boxing; Age 32 Beats Age 43: It's an Old Story". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  20. ^ Katz, Michael (June 25, 1995). "Pazienza No Match for 'Brillaint' Jones". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Katz, Michael (August 23, 1996). "Paz Receives No Respect from Tonight's Opponent". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  23. ^ Wise, Mike (August 25, 1996). "Pazienza Uses Tough Talk And an Even Tougher Right". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Price, Terry (February 9, 2001). "Name Changes, But Not Style". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  25. ^ "Lucas, Paz to Fight for WBC Belt". Huron Daily Tribune. February 26, 2002. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Pazienza awarded $926,000 for injuries from car accident". Associated Press. April 11, 1997. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  27. ^ "WWE News and Pro Wrestling Coverage Since 1987". PWTorch. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  28. ^ "The wild, untold story of The Good Life". Little White Lies. February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  29. ^ "Bleed for This (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  30. ^ "Vinny Paz pleads no contest to disorderly conduct, assault charge dismissed", providencejournal.com, September 11, 2012.
  31. ^ "Bad Boy Boxer: Paz picked up on warrant". Hot Boxing News. February 23, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  32. ^ "Vinny Paz Arrested for Domestic Abuse", Boxing Scene, July 31, 2007.
  33. ^ "Vinny Paz wanted for assault". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  34. ^ Nunes, Rachel (March 15, 2018). "Vinny Paz pleads no contest to domestic assault charge". WPRI-TV. Retrieved March 15, 2018.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit

Achievements
Regional boxing titles
Preceded by
Ron Amundsen
USBA super welterweight champion
July 2 – October 1, 1991
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Vincent Pettway
World boxing titles
Preceded by IBF lightweight champion
June 7, 1987 – February 6, 1988
Succeeded by
Preceded by WBA super welterweight champion
October 1, 1991 – October 14, 1992
Vacated
Succeeded by
Awards
Previous:
Tony Lopez
The Ring Magazine Comeback of the Year
1991
Next:
Iran Barkley