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Paul Vizzio is best known for holding World Champion titles over a 23 year period from 11 professional kickboxing organizations in 4 different weight divisions: Featherweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight, and Super Lightweight. His professional kickboxing record is 47 wins and 1 loss. Thirty-six wins were by knockout.
The lone defeat of Vizzio's professional fighting career came in July 1981. Cliff Thomas successfully defended his Super Lightweight crown with a TKO of Vizzio in the ninth round due to an injured jaw Vizzio received during training, in a bout that was televised on NBC Sports World. Vizzio took Thomas' title in a return match in November of that same year, never to relinquish it. As a youth, Vizzio also had 140 amateur boxing bouts with organizations such as the Police Athletic League. His record in those fights is not known.
It may be surmised that Vizzio's personal discovery of Kung-Fu, with its Eastern spiritual overtones, helped him to productively focus his tremendous energy, thereby avoiding the fate so typical of many undirected inner city youths. He has said, in fact, that most of the friends of his childhood are dead or in jail. In the early sixties Vizzio began studying Fu Jow Pai (Tiger Claw System), in New York's Chinatown, with Grandmaster Ng Wai Hong, the Grandmaster of the Fu Jow Pai system, and President of the World Fu Jow Pai Federation. Vizzio earned the rank of Sai Chuon (Fourth Degree Blackbelt), the highest rank Grandmaster Hong has ever awarded a student. He also studied with, and later taught kickboxing for, Shotokan Master, Toyotaro Miyazaki, who is a lifelong friend and godfather to Vizzio's first child, Veronica. Boxing skills learned in his youth were further honed with professional boxer Emilio Narvaez, Robert the Bear Alvarado, Sammy Alvarado and noted trainers, John Rainier and Phil Borgia. It is probable that the balance of hand techniques perfected there, combined with the strong, varied kicking techniques of Fu Jow Pai, contributed considerably to Vizzio's unprecedented success at kickboxing.
Throughout his fighting career, Vizzio also taught kung-fu first, and later, kickboxing as well. In 1971 he began teaching Tiger Claw for Grandmaster Wai Hong at his Chinatown school and at Columbia University, where he taught for 12 years. He opened his own school, Wai Mo Kwoon, in New Jersey on the Chinese New Year of February 17, 1972. He has trained such celebrities as Hollywood starlet Morgan Fairchild in kung-fu, and trained Olympian Kevin Padilla, and Olympic Gold Medallist Herbert Perez in kickboxing. He currently offers classes in kung-fu and kickboxing at his school in Fairfield, NJ, and teaches kickboxing in Hoboken, NJ, as well as at the municipal recreation center in Mountainside NJ.
Vizzio keeps most details of his personal life to himself. He has never publicly revealed his age, even to close friends and associates. However, it can be inferred from backtracking his career, that he was probably born around 1948, give or take a couple of years. This implies a rather astonishing likelihood, that is, that Vizzio twice successfully defended world championship kickboxing titles while in his fifties, a feat which is unmatched and unparalleled in the history of professional fighting. Vizzio has four children: Veronica ("Peaches"), Vanessa ("Twinkie"), Valentina ("Kitti") and Paul Jr. ("Twizz"), all of whom study kung-fu and kickboxing with him. All four of his children hold world titles in martial arts as well, making the Vizzio's a true martial arts family. Vizzio lives in central New Jersey, where, when he is not teaching, he enjoys golfing, dancing, and playing with his grandchildren.
Paul Vizzio can be contacted thru his website at www.vizzio.com
UNCONFIRMED: Word has it that prior to becoming a professional
kickboxer, Vizzio fought in full contact bouts sponsored by the Eastern
Kung-Fu Federation. These contests were fought without weight divisions,
with little or no protective gear or gloves, and were often fought on wooden
floors. They resembled more the "Extreme Fighting" matches of
the 21st century than they did any other organized fights of their time. His
record in these bouts was 55 wins and 0 losses with 54 knockouts. [Source:
Eastern Kung-fu Federation c/o Fu Jow Pai Federation: http://www.fujowpai.com/]
The most well-known of the kung-fu matches was the highly publicized "death match" in 1977 with Lee Man Chin, Grandmaster of The Seven Animals System. Upon arriving in the U.S., Chin issued a challenge to all American martial artists. At the request of the Grandmaster of the Fu Jow Pai system, Ng Wai Hong, Vizzio accepted the challenge. The fight was broadcast on a Chinese radio in New York. Vizzio won by a knockout in 6 seconds. A Chinese language publication that annually named the 10 biggest news events in the Chinese-speaking world, ranked Vizzio's victory number three for the year.
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