SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Carlos Perez is a state and regional boxing champion. At just 14 years old, he has some more big goals he'd like to reach.
"My focus is on nationals but after that, hopefully I get to go to the Olympics and win that. And then, maybe one day I'll be a world champion," he says.
Perez spends hours practicing his skills at Mendez Boxing Club, which is housed in space donated by a Springfield family.
His coaches, Jake Williams and Heron Mendez, have almost a half century of combined experience. Their motivation is helping children like Carlos.
"I do it to help kids reach their goals, to keep them out of trouble. Boxing can be a way of life that affects the rest of your life in a positive way," Williams explains.
Mendez collects cans and donations to support his students' in reaching their goals. He even uses his own money.
A trip to the National Silver Gloves Championship will cost Carlos Perez around $2,500. The event is scheduled for the last week of January, and the young athlete is asking the community for support.
"The gym's really tight on money and if everybody could just donate a dollar, it would help," Perez tells us.
If you are interested in helping Carlos travel to Missouri, contact Mendez Boxing Club at 541-868-5545.