Boxer Vinny Paz is accused of beating, biting and knocking out several teeth of a Rhode Island man Tuesday — despite the retired champ insisting he “got robbed” and he was “the victim.”
The 55-year-old ex-boxer, who was formally known as Vincenzo Pazienza before legally changing his last name to "Paz," allegedly barged into a Providence house with his girlfriend just after midnight Tuesday and assaulted the man, identified as Nathaniel Lavoie, WPRI reported. Lavoie told the news station Paz was his friend.
But in a brief interview with a reporter outside his home in Warwick, Paz insisted he had been robbed.
"Bottom line is, I got robbed. And when that happens, you gotta do what you gotta do," he said before jumping into an SUV and driving away.
Two eyewitnesses said Paz accused Lavoie of breaking into his home and stealing $16,000. Lavoie was taken to the hospital with injuries including several broken teeth, a black eye and bite marks that drew blood.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Paz on one count of felony assault later Tuesday.
Paz also addressed the alleged assault on Twitter, telling people to “stop with bs story stop !!!!!”
He tweeted: “NO COMMENT !!!!! I’m the bad guy oh really ??? I’m the victim !!! STOP”
He continued to post a series of tweets saying he “tried to help someone” and that he is “now the bad guy.”
Paz posted a career record of 50-10 during a 20-year tenure beginning in 1984. He held world titles as a lightweight and light middleweight and was known in the ring as "The Pazmanian Devil." The Rhode Island native has often said he was inspired to take up boxing by the movie "Rocky," and was himself the subject of a 2016 movie, "Bleed for This," which chronicled his comeback from a serious spinal injury.
Since retiring, Paz has had numerous scrapes with the law that have seen him charged with domestic violence, passing bad checks and various alcohol-related incidents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.