There are not many people in this world that are able to recover from a broken neck and spinal injury and live a normal life, let alone get back into the boxing ring and win two World Championships.
This is where we find ourselves with the International Boxing Hall Of Fame (IBHOF), who seemingly are refusing to induct the legend Vinny Pazienza, a man who has achieved all the above. That begs the question, Why?
We’re going to take a look at the facts and determine whether or not Vinny Paz has a legacy worthy of being inducted into the IBHOF.
In 2019 UFC President Dana White inducted Pazienza into the Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame (NVBHOF) — stating that Paz was the greatest sporting comeback of all time.
Overcoming Career Ending Injury
On November 12, 1991, Paz was a passenger in a car that was involved in a head-on collision at an estimated speed of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). As a result, Paz suffered a dislocated vertebra and two fractured vertebrae in his neck.
The sustained injuries resulted in Paz having to relinquish the title and missing thirteen months of action. Doctors informed Paz that he might never walk again and would certainly never fight again.
To begin his rehabilitation, Paz had to wear a medical device called a Halo, which a circular metal brace screwed into the skull in four spots and propped up with four metal rods. The Halo was screwed to his skull for three months, during this time Paz going against the doctor’s orders continued an extensive workout regime.
Overcoming all the odds and obstacles put in front of him not just did Paz manage to walk again but he returned to the ring thirteen months after the accident and defeated future WBC world jr. middleweight champion, Luis Santana, by a 10-round decision.
Holding a professional Boxing record of 60 competitive fights Paz has 50 wins (30 via KO) and just 10 losses, it must be taken into consideration the quality of opponents that Paz faced.
WBO Champion Hector “Macho” Camacho
WBA World Champion Loreto Garza.
Paz defeated Hall of Famer and legend Roberto Duran twice winning and retaining the IBC super middleweight title over both fights.
In 1995, he lost to Roy Jones Jr., a man considered to be one of the greatest ever to enter a boxing ring.
Bouncing back from the Jones Jr loss Paz handed the first defeat to Dana Rosenblatt in 1996 winning the vacant WBU super middleweight title.
Vinny Paz fought his final fight in 2004, defeating Tocker Pudwell in a 10-round unanimous decision.
IBF lightweight championship
WBA jr. middleweight championship
IBO super-middleweight championship
IBC super middleweight championship
WBU super middleweight championship
Over the years outside of the ring Paz actively works with charities donating generously, some examples include match-worn boxing robes and gloves, he also serves as a true inspiration to many people who have gone through live altering injuries making regular visits, and talks to those people, he’s always given his free time to schools and orphanages.
Some of his visits include Wounded Warriors, WBC Cares, and the Impossible Dream.
Having looked at the case for Vinny Pazienza to be inducted into the IBHOF, should Vinny Paz finally be added to the list of legends of the sport?.
Image 2 Credit Vinny Paz Twitter
Featured Image Credits To Embed from Getty Images