They grow tough kids in Florida. One of them just wrestled a nine-foot, 400-pound alligator, and won.

James Barney Junior, age nine, found himself caught in the jaws of the alligator after jumping into a lake in Saint Cloud, near Orlando. James punched the ‘gator in the face a couple of times, then wrenched open its jaws to make his escape.

He was taken to a hospital for treatment of about 30 tooth marks and some scratches. Doctors also removed an alligator tooth that was embedded in his back.

Wildlife officials have taken away the tooth to help them find the ‘gator, but James wants it back. He says he wants to wear it on a necklace so he can show it to friends.