The Olympian | Tony Overman
“You could no more than get his name out, and he had a great big grin from ear to ear,” said Jerrad Jeske, former Rainier High School head football coach, who coached Perez in 2004 and 2005.
“He always had a smile on his face, even when he was in trouble,” said Russ Surridge, Eloy’s principal at Grand Mound Elementary School near Rochester. “He’d look at me with that smile and say, ‘Yeah, I know.’ That’s not a difficult kid.”
The only trouble Perez is causing these days is for his opponents in the boxing ring. In nearly eight years as a professional boxer, Eloy has never lost a fight, compiling a 23-0-2 (seven KOs) record.
In 2010, he wore a patch on his shorts for Done Vida (“Donate Life”), an organ, eye and tissue donation advocacy group, to support liver transplant recipient Ricki Lee. In 2011, Perez befriended Sy Sherman, a 9-year-old boxing fan fighting a rare form of liver cancer. Perez has welcomed Sy to training camps, taken him to boxing matches and introduced him to world champions such as Mosley and De La Hoya. He even let Sy ride on his shoulders in the ring after a victory.
“Fame and money, that’s just a blessing,” Perez said. “I want to use my name to tell everyone else’s story. I can sacrifice for everyone else.”
Read full story: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/01/15/1949759/survivor-contender.html