Former title challenger Magdaleno wants one more short at world title
By Bill Tibbs
Two-time world title challenger Diego Magdaleno, (32-3, 13 KO’s), will look to continue his career building off a great showing in his last fight where he upset hometown hero Austin Dulay in Nashville, Tennessee back in February. Magdaleno, 33, will step into the ring on October 31 in San Antonio, Texas, at the Alamodome, on the undercard of Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz to face rugged Mexican Isaac Cruz Gonzalez (19-1-1, 14 KO’s).
Diego, a crafty, southpaw, boxer-puncher has had a great career as one of boxing perennial lightweight contenders over the last decade that has seen him in 2 world title fights. While the Las Vegas resident is certainly taking things one fight at a time at this stage of his career, he would indeed love to put together a couple more wins to possibly slot himself into a position to take one more crack at a word title belt.
Speaking to him from Utah, where Magdaleno had made a quick detour on this day from his training base in Las Vegas, to oversee a recent real estate investment, Maxboxing caught up with him to get his thoughts on his upcoming bout and where he sees himself at this stage of his career.
Bill Tibbs: Hi Diego, how are you doing?
Diego Magdaleno: Good, thanks Bill.
BT: What takes you to Utah?
DM: I have been investing in real estate and doing some other projects related to real estate and I had an opportunity to do some work out here and I am just here for the day checking things out; just here for the day, back to training right away.
BT: You are fighting Isaac Gonzalez in October. What do you know about him and how are you feeling getting ready for the bout?
DM: I feel great, training has gone great so far. I am working with “Bones” Adams and that is such a perfect fit. I feel I have a trainer that really understands fighters, he believes in me, keeps me calm in fights, focused on the job and what we have been working on in the gym. He is just part of my boxing family now. I don’t know everything about Gonzalez but I do know he is a bit wild, he comes out just throwing punches as hard as he can, kind of tries to swarm you. But, I can box, I know how to box so I just have to be smart in there, listen to “Bones” and execute our game plan.
BT: You are signed with PBC?
DM: Yes, I am. I have a deal with them and Sam Watson welcomed me with open arms and they have plans for me. If I look good in my next fight or so we could be looking at a big name.
BT: Speaking of looking good, you are coming off a nice win last February in Tennessee against Austin Dulay.
DM: Well, I think everyone in Tennessee saw me as the B-side and I was going to be the guy who their local fighter looks good on, but that wasn’t in my plans. As the fight progressed, and I was getting strong and he was getting more frustrated, I could see the crowd sort of starting to really respect me and get frustrated for their own guy. As the fight progressed, I was like, ‘I don’t care if I’m in Tennessee the is my house’. I go into every fight very confident and prepared to go to war, go into battle.
BT: On that note, a year before the Dulay win you were stopped in 7 by Teofimo Lopez, who is about as hot a fighter in boxing as there is. But, you sure gained a lot of respect for the effort and determination you showed in that fight. (*Note – Lopez recently won the unified world lightweight title)
DM: Exactly. After that fight so many people said to me that they were inspired by my effort and my guts in that fight. I go into every fight ready to do whatever I have to do in order to try and win. I will never quit in a fight and I am ready to go to war every time out. I didn’t win that fight but, in some ways, it was such a good fight, and people were so impressed by my attitude in the fight, it kind of revived my career in a way. People saw there was a lot of fight left in me yet.
BT: You and trainer (Clarence) “Bones” Adams seems like a great fit.
DM: Oh, for sure Bill, it is great. I have known him since I was 9. He is a former fighter, a champion, who knows the game so well. He is just great in the corner and he really cares 100% about me. He is very calm and focused on our fight plan. He is a great trainer and I feel very secure with him in my corner. He calms me down and he knows exactly how to get through to me.
BT: Here we are 13 years later and you’re still fighting at the same weight you turned pro at.
DM: Well, it isn’t always easy to make the weight, but I always do. I mean I have a sweet tooth and I like to eat but I am also very professional, and I am dedicated to my job. When I get the call and it’s time to go to work then, I’m on it. I am a professional and I take my job seriously and I do what I have to do. I love my job as a fighter. I wake up and look forward to my early morning run. It is my time alone to think and prepare myself; I have always loved running.
BT: Are you looking at one fight at a time right now or do you have longer range plans?
DM: No, at this stage you have to look at every fight as possibly your last one and fight like it is the fight of your life. I have to treat every fight from now on out like that. There will be no more easy fights in my career at this stage, so every fight is tough, and I have to treat it like the biggest fight of my career. Having a son has really changed how I look at life and how I treat people and things in my life. I am very professional in my approach to my boxing career because I am boxing for my son now and to accomplish as much as I can in my career. I have a great trainer and great people supporting me.
BT: Do you have a prediction for this fight?
DM: I am in with a tough guy who is a sound fighter. He is a bit of a wild guy, so I have to be prepared for the unexpected. The key in this fight is conditioning. I know I can box, I know how to punch, I have more experience than my opponent does, but the key is being in shape. I will come into the fight in great condition. I will be in the kind of shape that will allow me to go 12 rounds. I will take him in the deep water later in the fight. I just have to be smart, control the range and also do something that is so important and that is attack his body and tire him out, slow him down as the fight goes on.
BT: Is there is a possibility of one more shot at the title? Is that a goal for you?
DM: You never know in boxing. PBC will have some options for me with a good win. I am ranked in the top 10 again so there is always the possibility of another title shot and I would love to fight again for the world title.
BT: Best of luck in your bout, look forward to talking after the fight.
DM: For sure. Thanks Bill.