*photo courtesy Ron Gallegos

It’s only fitting that former world title contender Danny Perez should choose to make his return to boxing two days before welterweight champion Antonio Margarito gets in the ring against Miguel Cotto. Perez was the NABF welterweight champion at one time but his biggest claim to fame is having been the last man to put Margarito on the canvas. Margarito got up and won a close decision and would later defeat Perez in a world title bout.

Perez (32-5, 17 KOs), who trains in Carlsbad, California and now campaigns as a middleweight, defeated the gritty Daniel Stanisavljevic (8-14-3, 4KO’s) by unanimous decision. The card was promoted by Bobby D Presents in conjunction with Top Shelf Promotions and SDfights.com and took place at the Fourth and B in downtown San Diego.

In the first round, Perez came out shooting a pinpoint jab and boxed well as his opponent stayed out of range. The feeling out process began and the action started heating up just as the round ended. In the second round, Perez threw some perfectly placed body shots that had the Vancouver fighter in full retreat. Perez tried to finish Stanisavljevic off but he hung tough to make it out of the round.

Nice combinations in the third round by Perez as a toe to toe battle ensued. Stanisavljevic landed a couple shots but took many more in return as his face was bloodied. The fourth and the fifth came and both men waged war. Perez’s 37 year old opponent fought on as Perez constantly peppered his body and face. By the sixth and final round Perez had completely dominated Stanisavljevic, who’s slower and less talented than Perez but still put up a good fight. The scores were announced by Benny Ricardo as 60-54 (twice) and 59-55. “I was a little rusty but I took all his shots without a problem,” Perez said afterwards.

Perez hadn’t fought since May 2005 when he lost a decision to David Lopez.

Super featherweight Emilio Bojorquez (10-1, 8 KO’s) of Tijuana, Mexico brutalized and stopped Arturo Valenzuela (20-11-1) also of Tijuana, Mexico in the third round. A hard left hook put Valenzuela down in the first round as the extremely accurate Bojorquez put on a clinic of lefts that Valenzuela couldn’t withstand. The second was more punishment for the usually durable Valenzuela who still came forward valiantly but was met with an assortment of combinations. In the third, a beautiful hook to the body followed up by a barrage of unanswered shots to the head prompted referee Tony Crebs to call the stoppage at 57 seconds of round 3.  Bojorquez’s stock continues to rise with the impressive performance.

Dennis Grachev (3-0, 2 KO’s) of Siberia, Russia knocked out Caleb Caldwell (1-3, 1KO) of Las Vegas, Nevada in a scheduled four round light heavyweight scrap. Grachev attacked the body well in the first as he trapped Caldwell, who tried the “rope a dope” with little success. The body shots paid dividends in the second round as Caldwell opened his guard and Grachev struck down the middle, dropping Caldwell against the ropes. Caldwell got up only to be decked seconds later by a brutal right that laid him out on the canvas. The stoppage came at 2:26 of round number two. Grachev, who now lives in San Diego, looks like an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.

Other bouts:

Super featherweight Evgeniy Khil (3-2, 1 KO) of Russia defeated Cesar “El Mayu” Garcia (3-2, 2 KO’s) of Ensenada, Mexico by unanimous decision. Khil scored two knockdowns in the first with two short uppercuts. Khil dropped Garcia again in the second round with the same uppercut he landed repeatedly.  Khil boxed well again in the third and bloodied Garcia with précise shots to the head. Garcia came out strong for the final round but Khil boxed effectively and staved off Garcia’s forward attack. The cards were 40-33 (three times) for Khil.

Superflyweight David Gaspar (5-0, 4 KO’s) from Wilmington, California won a unanimous decision over Benito Abraham (9-12-4, 6 KO’s) in a back and forth affair where both men left everything in the ring. Abraham showed up to win but was ultimately outclassed by Gaspar. The cards were 40-36 (twice) and 39-37.

Ismail Sillahk (2-0, 2 KO) stopped Jose Grace (4-2) in the first round of a light heavyweight clash. The time was 1:01. Sillahk looked like a killer in the ring. With an amateur career that spanned over 300 bouts, Sillahk’s skills made easy work of Grace.

The evening’s show was dedicated to Roberto De Philippis who passed away at the age of 82 earlier this month. De Philippis was an institution in San Diego who did extremely well for himself as the founder of The Butcher Shop restaurants, Caruso's Pizza House, Roberto's Pizza House, the Italian Village and others.

De Philippis also made a huge impact on the San Diego boxing scene as a manager to Ken Norton and Bobby Valdez. He was also the father of promoter Bobby De Philippis who is the president of Bobby D Presents. He will be missed by many but not forgotten.

Faces in the crowd included: Former multi division world champion James “Lights Out” Toney, Former Super Welterweight Champion Alex “Terra” Garcia, Former contender Tony “Bazooka” De Luca, lightweight prospect Ernest Johnson and Elite XC Champion K.J. Noons.