If Victor Perez's story ended with his boxing career, it would still have been rather notable. The Tunisian-born Jew became the youngest world champion in boxing history when he took the flyweight crown shortly after turning 20.
He didn't stay on the top for long. A love affair with a French actress and a hard-partying lifestyle derailed his career. He soon lost his title, and couldn't regain it.
When World War II came, Perez thought that he would be safe in Paris. He was sadly mistaken, as the Nazis caught him and sent him to Auschwitz.
And this is when the storyline veers. When the Nazis found out about Perez's boxing past, they forced him to fight for their amusement, often against boxers twice his size. He kept emerging victorious, using the food he won to feed his fellow prisoners. When the Nazi defeat became all but certain, Auschwitz's prisoners were taken on a Death March. Four months before the war would end, Perez was caught giving bread to another prisoner. He was shot on the spot.
No, Victor Perez's story is downright heroic...