PROVIDENCE, R.I. — 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.
The ex-champion wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning to "stop" with the nonsense story. In a brief interview with WPRI-TV later Tuesday, he defended his actions.
"Bottom line is, I got robbed. And when that happens, you gotta do what you gotta do," he said before getting in an SUV and driving away.
Police said they want to speak with Paz.
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" tells the story of his return to boxing after breaking his neck in a car crash.