Messaoud Hai Victor "Young" Perez
(October 18, 1911 – January 21, 1945) was a TunisianJewish
boxer, who became the World Flyweight
Champion in 1931 and 1932, fighting under his ring name "Young Perez". He was managed by Leon Bellier.
Perez was born to Khomsa "Khmaïssa" Nizard, and Makhlouf "Khaïlou" René Perez, a household goods salesman. He was raised along with his four siblings in Dar-El Berdgana, the Jewish
quarter of Tunis
. He started training as a boxer at age 14 along with his older brother Benjamin “Kid” Perez to emulate his idol Battling Siki
, a boxing champion from Senegal
Near the end of 1928, after competing against the best of the local boxing talent in Tunis, at 17 Perez traveled to Paris, to pursue his dream of becoming a world boxing champion. In his youth, after winning the World flyweight title, he had a brief relationship with French-Italian actress Mireille Balin
French Fly champion, 1931
Perez's first attempt at France's Flyweight championship came on February 8, 1930, but resulted in a 4th round loss to Henry "Kid" Oliva in Limoges, France.
In only his 54th professional match, Perez won the French Flyweight title in Paris
on June 4, 1931, defeating Valentin Angelmann in 15 rounds.
World Fly champion, October 1931
On October 24, 1931, he won the International Boxing Union
and National Boxing Association (NBA) World Flyweight crown at Paris's famed Palais de Sports in a second round knockout of the exceptional American boxer Frankie Genaro
Perez seemed awed by the American champion who appeared to take the first round after a rally just before the bell. But responding to an attempt at a left hook by Genaro, Perez proved speedier and tagged his opponent with a crushing right hook to the chin that ended the match only ten seconds into round two.
Although Genaro struggled to his knees by the count of eight, he was unable to get any further before the referee completed the count. The loss was only Genaro's second by knockout in his long career.
Perez subsequently became the youngest French citizen to win a world boxing title.
Facing stiff competition, he lost the title the next year, on October 31, 1932, to Jackie Brown
in a twelve round points decision in Manchester, England. He then moved to the bantamweight
class. In an attempt at the World Bantamweight title on February 19, 1934, he was defeated in a difficult 15 round bout by "Panama" Al Brown
, who held a ten inch height advantage. He retired from boxing in December 1938 with a record of 92 wins (28 of them knockouts), 26 losses, and 15 draws.
On September 21, 1943, after being denounced by an acquaintance, Perez was arrested in Paris by the Milice Francaise
, a French collaborationist paramilitary force of the Vichy Regime.
He was detained in the Drancy
internment camp before being transported to the German extermination camp of Auschwitz
where he was assigned to the Monowitz
subcamp to serve as a slave laborer for I.G. Farben
at the Buna-Werke.
During his transport to Auschwitz on October 07, 1943, he became part of "Transport 60" a group of 1,000 prisoners shipped from Drancy
, in France
During his internment, he was forced to participate in boxing matches for the amusement of the German guards and officers.
By 1945, Perez was one of just 31 survivors of the original 1,000.
To escape from the Russians rapidly advancing on German held territory, the Nazis abandoned Auschwitz in January, 1945. On January 18, 1945, Perez became one of the prisoners on the death march
from Monowitz in Poland, 37 miles or 62 kilometers Northwest to the Gleiwitz
concentration camp near the Czech border. Perez was reported to have been killed three days later on January 21. According to eye witness testimony he was shot to death by a guard while attempting to distribute bread he had found in Gleiwitz's kitchen to other starving prisoners.
5 wins, 4 losses
- ^ "Young Perez". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- ^ a b c "Victor "Young" Perez (1911–1945)". Wollheim Memorial. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- ^ a b c d Silver, Mike (2016). Stars of the Ring, Published by Roman and Littlefield, Los Angeles, pp. 210–113.
- ^ a b "Young Perez". BoxRec. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
- ^ a b c "Victor "Young" Perez". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- ^ "Genaro Stopped in Second By Perez", The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, p. 16, 27 October 1931
- ^ "Frankie Genaro is Knocked Out", Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, p. 50, 27 October 1931
- ^ André Nahum: Quatre boules de cuir ou l'étrange destin de Young Perez, champion du monde de boxe ISBN 2-86970-060-1
- ^ https://deportation.yadvashem.org/index.html?language=en&itemId=5092632
- ^ Quatre boules de cuir ou l’étrange destin de Young Perez, champion du monde de boxe by André Nahum: Publisher: Bibliophane (April 24, 2002) ISBN 2-86970-060-1 ISBN 978-2869700604
Last edited on 17 March 2021, at 20:21
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