Hometown Heroes: Blas Perez


Blas Perez.

Blas Perez.

200-classicBy M.G. Angulo –

Blas Perez believes if you have the time to volunteer, use that time to connect with children, especially those on the outskirts of society: the children being tempted by gang members, the children who are having a hard go at life, the children who have been neglected or abused, the children who seem to not have voices and the children who need to know someone cares about their future.

“It is better to spend time with a child now than trying to correct him or her as an adult,” said Perez, who for the last 42 years has volunteered with the Fort Bend Boxing Club. After years of moving from one location to another, the club gained a permanent home near Historic Downtown Rosenberg at 1619 4th Street.

At the heart of the club is more than boxing. At its core is a Christian effort to nourish the spiritual, mental and of course, the physical wellbeing of youth through boxing, Bible study and mixed martial arts. Boxing is an excellent tool to use when connecting with young girls and boys, said Perez, 64, who began boxing when he was 12 years old. It requires more than fast feet and the ability to throw jab combos. Boxing calls for both discipline and respect – two qualities invaluable to youngsters.

“The kids in the club learn about respect for their education and that there is more to life than sports or getting into trouble,” said Perez, who also volunteered for a time at Big Brothers Big Sisters as another avenue for mentoring children. “It was very popular to become a Big Brother or Big Sister, because it allowed you to spend time with kids who needed someone to talk to them, who needed someone to show them how to focus on the positive and not the negative.”

Ray Aguilar with Michael and Blas Perez. Photos by Treasured Photography by Amanda Perez.

Ray Aguilar with Michael and Blas Perez. Photos by Treasured Photography by Amanda Perez.

As a promoter, amateur trainer and professional manager, in addition to being a father to four daughters, grandfather to 12 grandchildren and great-grandfather to six great-grandchildren, Perez uses his experiences to not only coach the children in the ring but to also “coach them about life,” and at the end of the day, he finds himself satisfied. “It makes me feel good that we’re doing something positive. There are many coaches in the gym, besides myself, who like to mentor, and what is amazing is some of these mentors were once the children in the gym. And now, they’re grown up and have returned to help other kids.”

It is a beautiful cycle. When the children succeed in competition, they also get a boost in their daily lives. It gives them the confidence to tackle the world and become something great, and in return, they share that hope with the incoming children boxers. “It makes these children feel like they’re worth something,” said Perez. “And it makes me feel good knowing I helped them feel that way.” Boys and girls as young as six or seven years old all the way to adults join the Fort Bend Boxing Club, and Perez takes pride in each one of them, not just in their accomplishments in the ring but simply in who they are.

“There are some children with trouble in their lives out there, and I want to teach them morals, respect, about God and how to pray and about life. If I can stress anything, it’s to spend a little time with a child. It benefits the community when we take time to build these young men and women into productive citizens.”

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