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In the guest corner, the fighting pride of Cranston, Rhode Island, with an outstanding record of 50 wins against only ten defeats with 30 big wins by knockout. Matt welcomes the former IBF Lightweight Champion, the former WBA Light Middleweight Champion, the WBU, IBO and IBC Super Middleweight Champion of the World, the “Tasmanian Devil” Vinny Paz.
Born Vincenzo Edward Pazienza to two tough Italian immigrants, Paz legally changed his name in 2001. He says he gets his athleticism from his father, an Olympic Skier representing Italy and former professional soccer player. And although his mother looks like a sweet little Italian lady, she’s as tough as nails, and he’ll tell you why. Paz feels lucky to have had “the greatest parents ever.” They were without a doubt his greatest support during the toughest time of his life.
Just after beating Gilbert Delé, who was undefeated in 30 fights, and winning the WBA light middleweight title, Paz broke his neck in an automobile accident. This injury turned out to be the toughest blow he’d ever taken. He says it was sheer determination and will that drove him to recover so he could get back to doing the only thing he’d ever wanted to do. Thirteen months after removing the cervical halo, a stabilization device screwed into the skull, he was back in the ring.
Paz fought a total of 60 professional fights, and he’s proud to say he was only ever beat by other champion fighters. He’s honored to have inspired a fanbase known as the “Pazmaniacs.” The story of his unbelievable comeback has been immortalized in the 2016 film Bleed for This easily the most underrated boxing movie ever. Paz says the movie should have been a much bigger deal, but he hopes that the new upcoming television documentary, “The Greatest Comeback in the History of Sports,” will do him justice.
Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out the one boxer Paz always wanted to fight but never did [Hint: he’s a former guest on the show!].
Follow Paz on Twitter @5XPAZ
In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on. Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/