Former boxing champion Vinny Paz on Wednesday sounded a note of defiance amid mounting legal troubles, which recently landed him on probation for assaulting his girlfriend while a separate felony case looms in Rhode Island.
“LIFE IS TUFF !!!” Paz said on Twitter. “I HAVE BEEN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN I HAVE STRUGGLES BUT I DO NOT QUIT THAT IS MY COMMENT ... I WILL COME BACK 100.”
The tweet came after Paz, 55, was arrested in the pre-dawn hours of March 15 for assaulting his girlfriend and then resolved the case hours later with a one-year suspended sentence and probation after pleading no contest.
The woman suffered facial injuries, and first responders had to “force entry into [Paz’s] home through the garage” after he failed to answer the door, police have said. They were called to the boxer’s Warwick, R.I., residence after the girlfriend told a New Jersey relative that Paz had assaulted her.
As part of his plea deal, Paz must have no contact with his girlfriend and participate in domestic violence counseling, among other conditions.
In the pending felony matter, Paz is accused of punching Providence resident Nathaniel Lavoie in the face “multiple times” late on the night of Jan. 1, after reporting that Lavoie had earlier ransacked his home and stolen $16,000, according to police and court filings.
Lavoie suffered “heavy swelling” in his left eye during the alleged attack, according to a police report. Paz has adamantly denied assaulting Lavoie.
Paz, the tough-talking pride of his native Cranston, R.I., fought under the nickname Pazmanian Devil and was a two-time champion when he broke his neck in a car crash in 1991.
He defied doctors who said he’d never box again, climbing back in the ring within a year and going on to claim three more titles. The storied comeback was chronicled in the Hollywood film “Bleed For This,” released to critical raves in 2016.
Among Paz’s notable victories during the comeback were two wins against an aging Roberto Duran, a feared puncher whose nom de guerre, “Manos de Piedra,” or Hands of Stone.
Duran was portrayed in “Bleed For This” by Worcester light heavyweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez. Tinseltown A-lister Miles Teller played Paz.
Also Wednesday, the real-life Paz tweeted a message of support to Duran’s son, Roberto Duran Jr., who’s making his professional boxing debut Friday in Florida.
Paz retweeted an announcement for the fight and also wrote “Kick A$$” to the younger Duran in a separate tweet.
And on Thursday, Paz tweeted a message of encouragement to a man who wrote the following on Twitter: “2 years ago when I started chemo the doctors told me it would most likely make me sterile . . . safe to say I’m on cloud 9!” The message was posted above a photo that appeared to suggest the man and his wife are expecting a child.
Paz’s response was succinct.
“Stay strong !!” he wrote.
Paz’s next hearing in the felony case is slated for April 5.