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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


Atlantic City middleweight DeCarlo Perez, 15-4-1, 5 KOs, held an open workout for the media and the public, Thursday afternoon at the Joe Hand Boxing Gym in Philadelphia. The event promoted DeCarlo’s upcoming main event against Dashon Johnson, 20-19-3, 6 KOs, of California. The pair will face off in an anticipated, 164-pound, 10-rounder, at the 2300 Arena on Friday, June 3rd.

The fight tops an 8-bout card, and is nicknamed “He’s Backkkkk!”, a reference to Johnson’s last visit to Philadelphia, when he made an impression on local boxing fans three months ago.

In that fight Johnson lost a 10-rounder to Philly’s Jesse Hart, but gave the undefeated prospect much more trouble than anyone expected. Johnson floored Hart in the final round and proved himself to be a very tough test.

Perez hopes that his turn against Johnson will be a springboard back to the win column, after losing his last outing, a January fight with Rob Brant.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” Perez said. “This is what we do. This is part of the fight game. I haven’t had the prettiest career, like some fighters have. But I’ve had a lot of tough fights and I haven’t ducked anyone. I’m coming into this fight for a win.” 

He’ll have to turn back Johnson, who took everything Jesse Hart threw, and kept coming.

“I didn’t see him that night,” Perez said. “But I was able to get the film and watch it. I was able to see that it’s going to be a great, action-packed fight. He definitely is a tough guy, but I feel that his skill and ability is sub (less than) mine.” 

Before losing to Brant, Perez was on a very nice roll, winning four straight bouts and edging himself toward a big fight at middleweight. He was on the brink of a breakthrough before the setback.

“This training camp has probably been, by far, the best I’ve ever had,” Perez said. “I was able to come up here to Philly, spar, and do amazing work with all these (Philly) guys.” 

DeCarlo looked extremely sharp and ready to go during the open workout. Next Friday, he will get a career status report from Johnson, a dangerous measuring stick if there ever was one.

It’s a winnable fight, but it might not be easy. However, if Perez can beat the guy who almost beat the guy, it will be the exact reboot that DeCarlo needs right now.

Watch for an expanded interview with DeCarlo Perez next week.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - May 26, 2016