Jessie Magdaleno: “I’m ready for a world title”
On Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada junior featherweight Jessie Magdaleno, 19-0 (15), will face Erik Ruiz, 13-1 (6) of Oxnard, California in an eight-round showdown.
As the exciting and undefeated Magdaleno looks to pick up his 20th straight win, he will also look to show fans he is ready for a world title shot before long. UniMas will televise on its “Solo Boxeo Tecate” series.
The Ruiz bout is a rescheduled fight as the two were set to meet on the undercard of 2012 Olympian Jose Ramirez’s bout against David Rodela on Oct. 25.
Jessie Magdaleno, the brother of world title challenger Diego Magdaleno, is as exciting a boxer-puncher as there is at junior featherweight and a few more wins could see him in a world title trinket tussle before long.
His rise has been fast and exciting after turning professional in 2010 under trainer Pat Barry out of Barry’s Boxing Center in Vegas. While Magdaleno, along with Diego, would have success under Barry, they both decided it was time for a change. So both made the move to train in Los Angeles with Joel Diaz. This will be Magdaleno’s fifth bout with Diaz and the pair seem very happy working together. It is a union that has benefited Magdaleno and he hopes the next phase of the journey will include that coveted world title shot.
Magdaleno, who became a new father this past summer, trains alongside world-rated Diego, along with brother Marco, himself a promising amateur fighter. Diego (who challenged Roman Martinez for the WBO junior lightweight title in 2013) would be described as more of a slick, boxer-puncher. Meanwhile, while Jessie can box and move, he is nothing if not all action and loves to mix it up.
While this has made for a fan-friendly style and some very exciting fights, it is something Diaz is working on. In a recent chat, Magdaleno said, “Joel is really doing some great things; he is working with me on being more patient, moving my head, being a smarter fighter. But I like to be explosive, [with] power and speed.”
Magdaleno was one of the United States’ top prospects and logged a 120-16 record as an amateur. He was also was a fighter who had that “special” look after turning pro, a tough brawler who could also box and move. Top Rank Promotions saw great potential in Magdaleno and looked to lock him up with a contract after he wrapped up his amateur career. His pre-pro resume is an impressive one that saw the Mexican-American ranked in the top 10 by the United States Boxing Association (USBA) at 122 pounds, win a U.S. national championship gold medal at 119 pounds and a 2009 National Golden Gloves gold medal.
After completing his amateur career, Magdaleno turned pro in November of 2010. Since then, in a little over four years, he has run off his perfect record. Now he looks to take that experience and test himself in the world title waters. While he is still fighting eight-round undercard fights, he feels he is more than ready to be promoted to main event status and is itching for the chance.
With some very talented champions at the title tier Magdaleno will have to be more than ready when he does get the call to fight for all the marbles. England’s Carl Frampton is the current IBF champion; popular, undefeated Los Angeles-based Leo Santa Cruz holds the WBC strap and former amateur sensation, unbeaten (and pound-for-pound-rated) champion Guillermo Rigondeaux holds the WBO and WBA titles. Jessie doesn’t care who it is; he believes he’s ready, willing and able.
“It’s hard to be patient sometimes, especially when you’re young. But I know as long as I keep winning, I’ll get my shot. Hopefully it will come soon. People may think I’m just an eight-round fighter but I know I’m ready. I’m ready for a world title, [and] any of the top-notch guys,” says Magdaleno.
Notes ‘n’ quotes
* Two-division world champion Santa Cruz will make the fourth defense of his WBC junior featherweight title on Jan. 17 against Jesus Ruiz. “Teremoto” said recently, “I want to put on a great show on Jan. 17 and show boxing fans that I am a strong fighter ready to go to the next level and take on the top, tough fighters in the division: Guillermo Rigondeaux, Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton and Abner Mares.”
* Junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, coming off an exciting, 11th round TKO over Hisashi Amagasa in Japan, (a fight in which “Rigo” was dropped twice in round seven), said he will not be ringside for Santa Cruz’s fight. “Santa Cruz is a joke. I will not attend the show. I have no interest in watching him fighting another soft opponent.”
* Manny Pacquiao on Twitter: “The ball will drop at midnight to usher in 2015. Floyd Mayweather let’s not drop the ball on fighting each other next year! #LetsMakeFistory. “Don’t be a boxing humbug. Let’s give the fans the fight they want. They have waited long enough.”
* NBC is sporting some commercials advertising the return of boxing in March. Word is boxing power-broker Al Haymon and NBC have worked out a deal that could see fight fans enjoying some big names (I’m guessing all Haymon clients) on the free screen.
* Writing soundtrack this week: “Derek and the Dominos: Live at the Fillmore.” ’70s Clapton gold!
* Lennox Lewis on Twitter: “There’s a few fights I want to see in 2015 but May-Pac is still at top of my list. Stop the madness and make it happen! #EnuffAlready. If we could make #Lewis Tyson happen with HBO and Showtime, they can get it together for #MayPac and make history again.”
* Congratulations to Top Rank Promotions Public Relations chief Lee Samuels, who was recently inducted into the Salem County Sports Hall of Fame at Salem County Community College, Carney’s Point, New Jersey. Samuels hails from Pennsville, NJ.
* ESPN recently announced that IBF middleweight champion Jermain Taylor is scheduled to defend his title against Sergio Mora on the Feb. 6 edition of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” from Biloxi, Mississippi. Taylor will be making the first defense of the belt he won from Sam Soliman in October.
* It looks like March 21 and Puerto Rico are the date and place for Orlando Salido against Rocky Martinez.
* R.I.P. ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, a great on-air talent gone way too soon.