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Magdaleno in Hawaiian Gardens

(Photo © Al Applerose, Top Rank)
(Photo © Al Applerose, Top Rank)

At 17-0 (13), Jesse Magdaleno is one of the sport’s better young prospects. An exciting blend of speed and power, this southpaw gets back into action tonight at the C. Robert Lee Center in Hawaiian Gardens, California. 2014 could be the time in which he takes the next step in becoming a ranked contender in the junior featherweight division.
“I think this year is my year and I gotta continue what I’m doing but other than that, I got a strong team and I think this year will be a big year for me,” said the 22-year old Magdaleno, who, like his brother, Diego, is now training in Coachella with Joel Diaz and hooked up with manager Frank Espinoza.

“It was a great change for me after what happened between me and my previous managers. Frank has been doing a tremendous job and everything’s been going great. The way he manages and how he takes care of me and my brother, it’s just been great,” said Magdaleno.
Espinoza said of his most recent additions to his stable, “Diego is already a 130-pound contender and will be fighting for a title again very soon in my estimation. Now with Jesse, I think I signed a young guy who has unbelievable potential and star ability. I’m very excited about both brothers.” Magdaleno, who, like his brother, was guided by Pat Berry, says of his new surroundings, “It’s been great. Our new team is phenomenal. We have a strong, strong team. Joel Diaz, he’s a great trainer and just being here with my brother is what motivated me to come out here more.”
It’s clear the brothers were a bit of a package deal. They simply didn’t want to be separated.
“Because I was training back at home and it just wasn’t the same without [Diego] being there and giving you that extra push that I needed. I’m out here with him; it’s great,” said Magdaleno, who resides in Las Vegas.
Unlike his brother, this Magdaleno has to slow down a bit, something Diaz has to work on. At times he fights at such a frenetic pace, it seems like he’s coming out of his shoes. But the key is to not completely douse the flame. Magdaleno is a passionate fighter with an offensive mindset. “Jesse, it’s hard to change a fighter like him because he’s a very special kid and the way he is, because he’s very aggressive. Y’ know what? As nice as he looks, that kid has a lot of anger and that kid - every time he throws a punch, he has bad intentions. The only thing I’ve been working with Jesse - there’s not much to change with him - as far as being defensive, my whole thing is he lunges in too much. He lunges in; he falls in the pocket too much to exchange,” said Diaz, who also trains Tim Bradley and Omar Figueroa.
He continued, “I’m teaching him how to use his distance a little more. Use his distance and every time you attack, don’t fall inside the pocket. He’s been doing that and he’s extending his punches a little more, not fully inside and he’s been doing a lot better.”
Magdaleno is now getting into position where he will be moved into title contention by Top Rank Promotions.
“I think Jesse in another year from now is going to be a solid 10-round fighter and we have high hopes for him,” said Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman. His manager adds, “We know the type of ability he has but we’re not going to rush him into anything but his pace will really depend on how he progresses this year and how he performs. But I don’t think it’ll be too long before he fights for a title.”
How quickly Magdaleno is moved is something he’ll leave up to the higher-ups.
“I leave that in the hands of Top Rank. Whatever speed they want me to be at, that’s where I’m going to perform at,” said Magdaleno. “But yeah, my career’s been going by on a great pace. I like the pace it’s going at and hopefully we keep it this way; if not, push it a little bit more.”
Of this facility in which the Magdaleno brothers will be performing tonight, Ray Alcorta, the local promoter for this card explains, “This is one of my old-school venues like the Maywood Activity Center. It’s a venue that’s located in the center of Hawaiian Gardens and it’s a big boxing community. So when you go into venues like this where you have hardcore fight fans, it’s not the same atmosphere as, say, a casino or something like that. People will come out here and watch every single fight from the first to the last, so they’re real boxing fans.”
It’s a cozy setting inside the C. Robert Lee Center.

“The venue holds about 1,200 people and the set-up has multiple bleachers on different sides of the gymnasium. There is also table seating on the floor, so you have premium seating with tables and general admission seats too,” said Alcorta.
- It looks like the return of professional boxing to the Forum in Inglewood, California will take place on May 17th. The question is if it will be the bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado as the main event or Mikey Garcia vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa. The storyline of Marquez making his return to the building where he was first promoted by Forum Boxing is an appealing one for Top Rank. If this ends up being the fight, then look for Garcia-Gamboa (hopefully it gets made) to get pushed to June.
Bob Arum says he is “in love” with the refurbished Forum which has great sightlines throughout the building because unlike most modern buildings, it does not have luxury suites.
- When asked about junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Arum says the current plan is to showcase him on a card in Macao, China in the summer months.
- If the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves takes place on May 31st, the question for Stateside fans is will it be televised by HBO? Well, they do have a vested interested in the super middleweight division and there is a “24/7” (for Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto) scheduled for that night, so it seems to make sense from a programming perspective.
Here’s this week’s episode of “The Next Round” with special guest Larry Merchant:
It turns out trainer Robert Garcia never made it out to Mexico to train Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who faces Bryan Vera on March 1st in San Antonio...The return of Ruslan Provodnikov could be June 14th. The question is just who he will be facing. Team Provodnikov insists on defending the WBO 140-pound title...Isaac Chilemba-Denis Grachev will co-headline the March 15th edition of “Fight Night” on NBC Sports Network...2012 Olympic bronze medalist Alexander Gvozdyk of Ukraine has signed a promotional deal with Top Rank...Right now, the clear-cut NBA MVP is Kevin Durant; right?...The Darren Sharper story is as disturbing as they come…Ican be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

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