Jessie Magdaleno aims to make statement in Philly
The vitriol between WBO junior featherweight titlist Jessie Magdaleno and his mandatory challenger Isaac Dogboe was turned up another notch on Thursday when neither held back his contempt for one another at the final press conference.
It’s clear that the tension – if not downright, disrespect – is thick between the 122-pounders, who face each another on Saturday night in Philadelphia (ESPN 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)
Last Friday before his day’s training at Legendz Boxing in Norwalk, Magdaleno was asked how he saw this upcoming fight playing out. His reply was short and to the point, “Seventh round.”
“Yeah,” he stated defiantly. “I don’t see nothing in him. Nothing surprises me about that kid; nothing really catches my eye. He’s a dog; he constantly comes forward and bang away and he doesn’t have any talent or assets to give me any damage. The way we’ve been looking, the way we’ve been training ,it’s going to be very difficult for him to come in and think he’s going to take my head off like he did Cesar Juarez.”
Magdaleno’s manager Frank Espinoza says, “There’s no doubt that Jessie has a bit of an edge to him for this fight. From the very beginning, as this fight was made, there’s been a lot of talk from that other side. I know how motivated he is to get back in the ring and really make a statement.”
When asked how much he weighed eight days before the fight, he cracked, ”It’s horrible, like 154 right now.” He added on a serious note, “Weight’s good; we’re just a few pounds away and I’m feeling great.” (That said, Magdaleno made weight, dead on at 122.)
After having missed weight a few times earlier in his career, it’s a stigma that sticks with him.
“Yeah, everybody is always about my weight. That’s all they ask – ‘How’s your weight? How’s this?’ Everybody is going to say that till you get on the scale. My last couple fights I’ve been making weight perfectly and this is just another one,” he promised.
Dogboe earned this opportunity by stopping Cesar Juarez in five rounds, last January. Juarez was the previous mandatory contender who was scheduled to face Magdaleno, last November, but, as Magdaleno pulled out of that assignment with a hand injury, the WBO mandated the Juarez-Dogboe fight for its interim title.
It’s a real fight; this is no mis-mandatory defense.
“We all know what’s in front of us,” said Espinoza, who also handles the career of WBO featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez. “This is not an easy fight and we have plans for Jessie, such as perhaps unifying and taking on some of the bigger names in the division but it’s all dependent on Jessie winning this weekend.”
Since winning the WBO 122-pound title frfom Nonito Donaire in November of 2016, Magdaleno has just defended that belt once. Last year he faced the over-matched Adeilson Dos Santos, who didnt get past the second round. You could argue that this is really his first legitimate title test and it will come on a big stage on ESPN.
“I thought the breaking-out point was going to be after I beat Donaire,” said Magdaleno. “Obviously it wasn’t. There’s still people in this weight class that I still have to prove myself against but I believe, after this fight, this will be my big breaking-out point and people are really going to know who I am.”
Some things heard around the boxing grapevine:
– Eddie Hearn/Matchroom Boxing is set to announce a new streaming platform very soon, with some of these cards taking place in the United States.
– Word is that World Boxing Super Series is looking at bantamweight (118 pounds) and junior welterweight (140 pounds) for its next tournaments.
– The Top Rank card on May 26, featuring IBF 115-pound titlist Jerwin Ancajas, will take place in Fresno, California.
– There is talk from Top Rank of having a card featuring WBO super middleweight titlist Gilberto Ramirez and junior welterweight hopeful Alex “Cholo” Saucedo, in Oklahoma City, in a homecoming bout for the fan-friendly Saucedo.
This week’s edition of “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” with Mario Lopez and me, features another in-studio visit from GGG/360 Promotions Tom Loeffler.
There’s a bevy of boxing on today, starting with the ESPN card at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, then the PBC on FOX telecast at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT and the HBO broadcast at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT…Wow, the Cleveland Browns are certainly bold…Loved the HBO “Real Sports” segment on Derek Jeter, that was done by Bryant Gumbel, who can grill subjects as good as anyone still…I can’t lie; I still love the NFL Draft…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.