After a distinguished amateur career, that included a Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympic Games, Perez turned pro in 1952 and is considered the hardest puncher among modern flyweights.
Perez stood just under five-feet tall as an adult and fought between 105 and 110 pounds, consistently weighing in under the 112-pound flyweight limit. Yet he packed tremendous power, scoring knockouts in his first 18 fights. In 1954, Perez drew with reigning flyweight champion Yoshio Shirai in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In a rematch, four months later in Tokyo, Perez captured the crown by scoring a 15-round decision over Shirai, who held five-inch advantages in height and reach. He thus became the first Argentinean boxer to win a world title.
From 1955 to 1959, Perez successfully defended his flyweight title nine times, including five by knockout. He held a 51-fight unbeaten streak before losing a non-title fight to Japan's Sadao Yaoita in 1959. He later avenged that loss by knocking Yaoita out in a title fight. Perez finally lost the crown to Thailand's Pone Kingpetch by decision in 1960 and was knocked out in a rematch later that year.
Perez then reeled off 28 consecutive wins, including 19 by knockout, but never challenged for a title again. He retired in 1964 after getting knocked out for the second consecutive time.
Born: March 4, 1926
Died: Jan. 22, 1977