The inspirational comeback story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Paz, who after a near fatal car crash was unsure if he would ever walk again, has been made the subject of an upcoming film, ‘Bleed For This’ starring Miles Teller.
Paz joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday, and spoke about being the passenger in the car that was cut off and veering into oncoming traffic, shortly after the boxer won his second World Boxing title in 1991.
“I just remember holding on to the handle for dear life, and just thinking, oh my God, I’m never going to defend my world title. That was my last thought before death,” Paz laughed. “That would have been the last thing I thought before I died, because I could have died.”
At the hospital, doctors told him he’d never fight again, and that he’d be lucky to ever walk again. Although, the stubborn boxer wasn’t buying it.
“Doctor Carter, I love him. He gave me the opportunity to fight again, because if he would have put rods in my neck, that’s it. It would have been over for me,” Paz said. “He knew I wanted to fight. I told him I’m fighting, and he gave me the option. He put that medal halo on my head, which was like horrendous, and I had it on for months.
“I literally started working out with it a couple days after I got home from the hospital, and I wasn’t telling anybody, and then when my mother started discovering my clothes were in the hamper, really wet. She figured it out little by little, and then my parents were like, ‘Oh my God, Vinny why are you so crazy, just be happy you can walk, just be happy you’re alive,’ and I was like no, it’s not going to go down like that. I said ma, I’m going to make this happen or I’m going to die trying, and I meant it at the time with all my heart.”
While Paz desperately wanted the halo off, he declined pain medication upon removal of the brace, a decision in which he said he’d regret forever.
“One of the dumbest moves of my life. Oh my God, when I tell you I’ve been through a lot of pain, you can understand I’ve fought for 35 years of my life and I know what pain’s all about. That was the worst, by far,” Paz said about the procedure to get the halo removed. “It was like a 747 flying threw my head when they were taking the screws out, because the bone wraps around the screw for months now. I had that on for months.”
Paz then went into detail about the most painful moment of his life.
“I said don’t worry about whatever pain you got with these screws coming out, it won’t be nothing.” Paz said laughing before adding that the doctor then pulled out a ratchet to remove the screws with. “So when he twisted the screw driver, the ratchet, one way at first, when he first moved it on my head, I don’t even know, I can’t even remember the magnitude of the pain that I felt, because it was just over time, but I hit his leg. This guy’s literally 76 years old, and I love the guy, he was the greatest doctor, he helps me. I have my hands, I’m sitting in the chair, and when he does the ratchet, he moves it the first time I bang his leg, and he almost falls.
“I bang his thigh, and I scream, Doc you’re going the wrong offing way, and he was like son, I told you it was going to hurt, bear with me,” Paz said. “Then I just held on for dear life and then he took out the other three and that was it and the comeback started.”