Jacques Ouaniche and Laure Balzan Ouaniche about their film Victor Young Perez.
Victor “Young” Perez, tells the true and incredibly moving story of the Tunisian Jewish boxer, who became the World Champion in 1931 and 1932. Victor Perez started training as a boxer at age 14 along with his older brother Benjamin “Kid” Perez. He rose to great fame thanks to the help and guidance of Leon Bellier and had a relationship with French-Italian actre ss Mireille Balin. The 5’1″, 110-pound Perez won the International Boxing Union’s crown with a 2nd-round knockout of American champion Frankie Genaro, becoming the youngest world champion in boxing history. Perez was arrested in Paris on September 21, 1943 and arrived at Auschwitz on October 10, 1943, as part of “Transport 60″. He was held in Auschwitz III/Monowitz. Whilst there he was forced to participate in boxing matches for the amusement of the Nazis. By 1945 Victor had survi ved 140 bouts in 15 months and won 139. Perez was one of the prisoners on the “Death March“ who left the camp on January 18, 1945.