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When you’re loved, you’re hated: A Conversation with Vinny Paz -Five-time world champion

SEASON -3 / EPISODE-10

Vinny Paz wants you to know that life is harder than anything you’ll face in a boxing ring. The five-time world title holder is a decorated boxer, but his inspiring comeback story is what he is most proud of because of how he persevered. On this week’s episode, I sit down with the colorful fighter with the larger-than-life persona and hear about that storied life. We discuss what it’s like to be loved and hated at the same time, how watching a certain boxer gave him all the inspiration he needed to get into the ring, how hard it is behind the scenes in the boxing world, and why his world changed after he won his first title and then lost it.

We dive deep into what it’s like to be a celebrity in Rhode Island, why fame and fortune was fun until it became a distraction, how his father brought him back from the brink of death after his fateful car accident, and what it was like to see his life story on the big screen. Vinny is an honest guest who doesn’t pull punches about what a life in boxing is like. But he is a deeply religious man who believes he is extremely lucky to be where he is today. This discussion brings together many facets of life, including successes, defeats, highs, lows, and, for Vinny, the “women.” Come and enjoy our sit-down, as it’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind that is “The Pazmanian Devil.”

LESSONS FOR LEADERS

  • Count your blessings each and every day. You never know when things may change.

  • If you idolize someone, take what you can from that person and use what you see them do well to help make yourself better.

  • Life is a fleeting moment. Enjoy it while you can and make it great for others too.

  • Find ways to stay grounded, even if things are going right and you’re enjoying success.

  • Enjoy the successes in life. They can be gone in a flash.

  • You have to be aware of who you surround yourself with.

  • Even when life punches you, you can find the fortitude to get back up.

  • Don’t be afraid to adopt a different way of thinking to help you tackle a problem.

  • You have to become strong in order to overcome.


Vinny Paz Career Accomplishments

  • 5x world title holder

  • 50-10-0 record with 30 KOs

  • The film, Bleed for This, is based on his life


Key Conversation Takeaways

  • 2:40: What “when you’re loved, you’re hated” means

  • 3:52: How a specific fighter got him into boxing

  • 7:45: His amateur and Olympic career

  • 10:04: Why it’s hardest to be the fighter in the boxing world

  • 17:27: The trainers that had the lasting effects on him

  • 21:36: How “the whole world changed” after his first title win

  • 26:11: What ways life changed after he lost the title

  • 28:27: The movie Bleed for This and how Miles Teller embodied him

  • 29:36: How his larger-than-life persona made him “Ali in his own mind”

  • 34:11: How his father brought him back from the brink

  • 39:41: The car accident that changed his life and how his attitude got him back in the ring

  • 48:16: What advice he has for younger fighters


Notable Quotes

  • 0:43: “Every day, I do the sign of the cross and look up to the guy every day. I’m so lucky. My head should be a mess. I should be speaking and slurring my words. I should be a mess right now. But I’m so fortunate. My parents were tough strong, people. I got so lucky.”

  • 2:44: “Whenever anybody loves somebody, whenever anybody is on TV, in the limelight, doing great things, doing big things and so many people love them, there are so many people that effing hate them.”

  • 6:49: “From that moment on, everybody wanted to watch me. I was the one who would stick out like a sore thumb. I was the crazy guy fighting, the crazy little man.”

  • 10:47: “Everybody stiffs everybody (in the boxing world). Everybody gets beat by somebody. Somebody’s beating somebody and it’s always the fighter that gets the brunt of the bad situation.”

  • 14:36: “’What kind of people get into boxing?’ I say, ‘People who make bad choices or who have no other choices.’”

  • 19:06: “I live in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the country. I’m on TV every freaking day. I’m in the newspaper every freaking day. I got sick of myself. They were jamming me down the throats of other people.”

  • 26:19: “It was the worst moment of my life (losing the title). It was my first loss as a pro. Life was different.”

  • 29:46: “There’s always hot, crazy chicks in my world. That was a constant.”

  • 33:27: “So many kids and so many people in this sport don’t understand that it’s about putting people in the seats.”

  • 35:54: “He (his father) grabbed my shirt and started shaking me like crazy. He was going, ‘I don’t care that you lost. Don’t do this.’ And boom, I came back down and that was it. I was cool.’”

  • 40:50: “It was the best fight of my life and days later, what happens, I break my neck in a car accident. Life is so crazy and that’s how life goes. You never know what’s going to happen.”

  • 44:27: “We’re doing this and making this happen. We ain’t going nowhere.”

  • 48:17: “Life has hit me harder than the boxing ring ever has.”

  • 48:31: “You’ve got to stay strong through everything.”

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