Vinny Paz, who`s better described as one helluva fighter, rather than a brawler achieved the most remarkable comeback in sports of all time confounding all of the medical experts but confirming his incredible self belief and the total dedication of his courageous determination to transform the impossible into to incredible reality.
Today Vinny and Promoter Jimmy Burchfield recalled his extraordinary career. He reached the magical fifty victories mark, coming back from a broken neck in a car accident, after which the doctors told him, he`d be lucky to walk again, but NEVER compete in the ring. Vinny who begged to differ from the received medial expertise telling them: “I think you`re wrong, and that`s coming from a graduate of Community College Rhode Island!”
Two fractured vertebrae, necessitated wearing a steel halo brace bolted to his neck and skull for six months, but undeterred Vinny actually worked his way back with a series of exercises showing the mettle that would have eluded most fully fit men. Enduring the pain and battling an uphill fight, Vinny said: “Sometimes you have to feel you have super human strength. You only get luck in life, with a lot of hard work.”
Vinny`s absolutely extraordinary defiance of the odds, which has characterized his life, was made into a brilliant film in 2016, starring Miles Teller, entitled: Bleed for this. And in the coming days there is going to be a one hour television special documentary called: “The Greatest comeback in the history of sports.”
Vinny`s superb career which included thirty KO victories culminating in world titles as lightweight and super welterweight, encompassed two rugged points victories over Roberto “Stone Hands” Duran. However he had to wake up his ideas to gain his fiftieth victory, over Toker Pudiwell, who may not have appreciated that FIFTY was prematurely embossed on Vinny`s trunks. Jimmy, abandoning his role as promoter catapulted himself into Vinny`s Corner to remind him he`s already lost the first five round and to WAKE UP. Vinny roused himself to stop Toker two rounds later!
Jimmy spoke of the Great Jose Sulaiman`s determination to get a statute of Rocky Marciano created and shipped all the way to Brockton and then getting Larry Holmes and Don King to come along for the inauguration on that wonderful sunny day. And his hope that one day there will be a statue of Vinny in Providence.
He also spoke of the difficulties promoters are facing during the Pandemic, but the prime aim always being: “Boxing is show business and entertaining. I want people to know who these fighters are and to know, just what they do.”
The Panel were discerning in their choices of the ideal attributes of the Noble Art.
Best Jab. Vinny chose Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes. Joanna chose Ali, Jimmy says Holmes and Ted also went for Holmes.
Best Chin. Vinny says Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Jimmy says Ezzard Charles, Joanna insists Rocky Marciano while Ted says Kid Devlin.
Power. Vinny who`s tasted it first hand twice, winces as he says Roberto Duran, Joanna agrees, while Jimmy goes for Marciano, Ted chooses Joe Louis.
Hand speed. Vinny chooses Floyd Mayweather, Jimmy and Joanna go for Sugar Ray Robinson. Ted says Mike Oliver.
Skills. Vinny says Floyd Mayweather, Jimmy chooses Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, Joanna says Ali and Ted chooses Mayweather.
Biggest heart. Vinny knows his own heart and its capabilities. Jimmy chooses Vinny and Ali, Joanna says Johnny Tapia and Ted goes for Vinny and Bobby Chacon.
This was a gem of a chat. Jimmy recalls when Muhammad Ali came to town and asked him to go along to a place which fell outside the bright lights. The great man talked to everyone there putting his arm on their shoulder and giving each person, each of who were in need, fifty dollars. Joanna recalls him coming to New Mexico and spending days with kids, enthralling him with the magic of his special kindness. Mauricio recalls the WBC awarding Vinny with a honorary belt, for his exceptional and inspirational courage.
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