PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Retired boxing champion Vinny Paz, whose comeback story after a car crash was dramatized in the 2016 film “Bleed for This,” has been accused of attacking a Rhode Island man and sending him to the hospital.
The 55-year-old former champ said he had been robbed and did what he had to do.
Providence police said they were called to a home early Tuesday morning. When officers arrived, witnesses told them Paz had accused a friend of stealing $16,000 and then assaulted him.
The man was taken to the hospital with injuries including several broken teeth, a black eye and bite marks that drew blood. Witnesses told police that Paz left before police got there.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Paz on one count of felony assault later Tuesday.
The ex-champion made a series of statements on Twitter and to a local TV station on Tuesday, telling people to “stop” with the nonsense story and defending his actions.
“Bottom line is, I got robbed. And when that happens, you gotta do what you gotta do,” he said in a brief interview with WPRI-TV outside his home in Warwick, before getting into an SUV and being driven away.
“NO COMMENT !!!!! I’m the bad guy oh really ??? I’m the victim !!! STOP,” he wrote in one Twitter message .
Paz is a five-time world champion who retired from boxing in 2004. Since then, he has had several brushes with the law, including a 2012 no-contest plea to disorderly conduct for a fight with two women at a Providence bar. He also pleaded no contest in 2007 to drunken driving.
“Bleed for This,” starring Miles Teller as Paz, tells the story of his return to boxing after breaking his neck in a car crash.