HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - He’s known simply as “Pops.” And Fred Pereira has been a father figure to many.
The famed local trainer has served as the head coach of the Waianae Boxing Club since 1972.
A student of the game as much as he is a teacher, boxing has been a quintessential part of Pereira’s life - as a fighter, a mentor and now a Hall of Famer.
He has been extending his knowledge of the sweet science to young up and comers for over 50 years. His work has culminated into an induction to the Golden Gloves of America Coaches Hall of Fame last month.
"You try to help these people,” said Pops. “They had a place to come to which was here and not only did they have a place to come but they liked it."
Boxing has always been a passion for Pereira and his boxing club has served as a safe haven for many local teenagers.
Aside from coaching in Waianae, Pereira also serves as the head coach of the Golden Gloves Hawaii team.
The team made history at the 2019 National Tournament of Champions last month as three Hawaii boxers took gold and one winning silver.
But the biggest winner of the weekend was Pops.
"I didn't even know that they were doing that at all,” said Pops. “I was so speechless."
Waianae sensation Asa Stevens won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Boxer award and said he represents Pops every time he steps into the ring..
"Having him in the gym is a good thing,” Stevens said. “He’s been around and he knows everything, he's been there for us since we first started and all the fights we fight are for him."
Pereira has given his life to boxing and boxing has given him life.
"Good Lord took care of me, Im 85 years old,” said Pops. “I feel well; I must be doing something right and I feel healthy - the kids keep me busy walking all over the place. If I didn’t have this gym, I wouldn’t know what to do.”