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MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Vinny Paz ended a 21-year career with a win by unanimous decision over Tocker Pudwill in a super middleweight bout Saturday
night at Foxwood Resort Casino.
Two officials scored the fight 95-93 and the third 96-93 for the former lightweight and junior middleweight world champion from Providence, R.I., who
is now 50-10, with 30 knockouts. Paz announced his retirement following the bout.
"He was a really tough guy and I knew it," said Paz, 41, who has often said that he would retire after winning his 50th fight. "I wanted a good tough,
clean fight and I got it."
In the seventh round, Paz dropped Pudwill with an overhand right and continued to put pressure on him, landing more right hands. Early in the ninth,
Paz put Pudwill on the mat again with a right hand to the body.
Paz started to turn the tide in the sixth, when he was able to get past Pudwill's jab and attack the body.
Paz fought with a cut under his right eye from the fourth round on and Pudwill was bleeding from the nose in the fourth. Paz first got to Pudwill in
the fourth, landing a wild overhand right and shoving Pudwill into the corner with his forearm.
In the first three rounds, the 5-foot-7 Paz had difficulty getting inside against the 6-foot Pudwill. In the third, Pudwill landed a crisp jab and
right hand only for Paz to yell "yea."
Pudwill, 32, dropped to 39-6. He won the first five rounds on two of the three judges' cards and four of the first five on the third, according to
"I thought (the decision) was 50-50," said Pudwill, who fights out of Bismark, N.D. "I knew this was going to happen if I did not win
Pudwill said before the fight he would retire if he lost.
Paz, who legally changed his name from Pazienza several years ago, began his pro career in 1983 as a 137-pound lightweight. He finished his career as
a 169-pound super middleweight.
He won five world titles during his career, the first in June 1987 when he won a unanimous decision over Greg Haugen to capture the International
Boxing Federation lightweight championship.
Paz fought three bouts with Haugen, winning two.
His career included fights with Roberto Duran, Hector Camacho Sr. and Roy Jones Jr.
Duran, who dropped a pair of 12-round decisions to Paz in 1994 and 1995, was in Paz's corner before the fight and could be seen shouting instructions
to his former adversary from the front row.
Former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose was also in attendance.
Eight of the fighters Paz fought in the professional ranks were world champions.