November 24, 2012

Steve Solloway: A fighter, in the ring and out

(Continued from page 1)

LUCAS PAZ
click image to enlarge

Vinny Paz, right, rarely took a step back in the boxing ring, winning five world championships and earning his 50th victory in 2004, when he was 42.

2002 file/The Associated Press

BOXING FINALS

WHAT: USA Boxing New England championship finals

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 6 p.m.)

WHERE: Stevens Avenue Armory, Portland

TICKETS: Available at the door

AMONG THE FINALISTS

USA Boxing New England championship finalists from the Portland Boxing Club:

Jason Quirk (open class middleweight)

Liz Leddy (open class featherweight) n Danny Pang (novice featherweight)

Lindsay Kyajohnian (novice light welterweight)

John Lopez (open class featherweight)

Chi Wong (novice lightweight)

Paz last fought in 2004. He had 49 victories as a professional and wanted No. 50. He was also 42 years old.

"I could have fought a bum but I didn't want that. I heard about this kid who was going for his 40th win. I think he was 29. I said, let's get him."

Tocker Pudwill (39-5) was the opponent for a fight at Foxwoods. Paz went to work on him verbally, at the press conference and weigh-in. When Paz didn't get a response, he looked more closely at the kid."He doesn't give a (hoot). He thinks he's gonna beat me. When the fight starts he hits me on the top of the head and my whole body vibrates." For one of the few times in his life, Paz backed off. He had to come on hard in the later rounds to win a 10-round decision.

Paz declared bankruptcy about six years ago. Gambling and business debts, and a bad investing decision hurt him. He figures he's still rich in other ways. An independent movie on his life may be released soon. Video games use his likeness. A rapper, Vinnie Paz, has taken his name, changing the spelling slightly.

Vinny Paz made his acting debut in Rhode Island last spring in a dinner theater production of "Love Letters." Yes, the fighter who lost a 12-round decision to Hector Camacho for the WBO light welterweight title in 1990 has a sensitive side.

"I'm lucky," said Paz. "I feel good, I look good."

It sounded like he didn't need anything more.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveSolloway

 

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