Vinny Paz is wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged assault in Providence, where the former boxing champion first rose to fame as the IBG World Lightweight title-holder in the late 1980s.
Paz, 55, allegedly showed up to 34-year-old Nathaniel Lavoie’s apartment on Monday night around 11:30 p.m., accused Lavoie of stealing $16,000 from his home and fought the man, resulting in “several broken teeth, a black eye and bites on his left hand that drew blood,” according to multiple reports.
In a Twitter statement on Tuesday morning, the retired boxer seemed to take issue with the version of events presented to police by Lavoie, who called himself a friend of Paz, and a pair of eyewitnesses:
STOP WITH BS STORY STOP !!!!!
— VINNY PAZ (@5XPAZ) January 2, 2018
Paz then clarified that statement in a brief interview with WPRI-TV on Tuesday afternoon:
“Bottom line is I got robbed,” he told the local television station while getting into an SUV outside his home in nearby Warwick, R.I., “and when that happens, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Police had not yet issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday afternoon and were still considering charges.
Paz held five belts in a boxing career that spanned three decades, winning the IBF Lightweight, WBA Jr. Middleweight, IBO Super Middleweight, IBC Super Middleweight and WBU Super Middleweight titles.
A native of Cranston, R.I., he rose to fame as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza before legally changing his name to Paz in 2001. He famously suffered a broken neck in a car accident at age 28 and returned to win championship bouts despite being told by doctors he should never fight again in 1990. He last fought in 2004. His story inspired the 2016 film “Bleed for This,” starring Miles Teller.
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