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Magdaleno groomed for greatness

Story by Andreas Hale
Photos by Mary Ann Owen /

Ever since he made his professional debut in 2007, Diego Magdaleno (22-0, 8 KOs) has been groomed to be great by Top Rank. A gold medalist in the 2007 U.S National Championships, Magdaleno has always been considered a great boxer. But lately, something has changed within the undefeated Las Vegan that has lead to a power surge that has seen him score knockouts in five of his last seven fights. Whatever it is, it has made the Pat Barry and Augie Sanchez trained fighter one of the fighters to watch in 2012. With four NABF super featherweight title defenses under his belt, Magdaleno is seeking a major world title by the end of the year. But first, he has to get past Antonio Davis (29-7, 13 KOs) this weekend at the Texas Station. Late last week, FightNews attended his workout and saw a man who doesn't seem to be taking his little known opponent likely. In between rugged sparring sessions, Magdaleno spoke on 2012 being his year, his young brother and just where did all that power come from.

Diego, you've been looking impressive as of late but what do you have to do heading into this fight with a fighter like Antonio Davis who has fought the likes of Humberto Soto, Jhonny Gonzalez and Steve Luevano?

The key thing is staying true to myself. I'm not looking down on or looking past any opponent. I treat every fighter like they are just as hungry as me going for a world title. I have to bring my A game every fight. Every fight it gets that much more intense.

Coming off of your last victory, what are the things that you need to improve on?

There's always something to improve on. We come back to the gym and review my last fight after each win. There are little things we want to do more of or less of. But we have to always stay sharp.

The biggest eye opener as of late has been your power. What did you do differently to turn on the power switch?

I started sitting down on my punches more. I left the heavier weight off of me because it was slowing me down a bit. The speed and power are finally starting to come together and that's been key.

Have you been going for knockouts lately?

They are just coming to me now. I'm not even going for them and they are happening. Obviously, I'm doing something right.

How do you feel about your progression thus far? Not to say your fights have been easy but with so many fighters in your weight class, do you feel like the progress is steady or would you like to take a step up in competition.

I'm comfortable with the way Top Rank has been progressing me. They notice just like I do that I may need bigger fights. I'm a little more anxious to step up to bigger fights but they already told me that this is my year and I'm prepared for it. Overall, everything is going the way it needs to be.

The goal this year for you is to get a title shot at 130 lbs. How busy do you want to be in 2012 as you work towards that goal?

That's all up to Top Rank and Bob Arum. I want to be as busy as possible. I love to be in the ring. I stay active and my skills stay there. I want to collect all the titles at 130 and then take it from there.

What are your thoughts when fighters like Adrien Broner, who has just moved up to 135, miss weight and act as if they had no intention on making the weight in the first place?

It's unprofessional. We all have our jobs and we all know what we have to do. We make an agreement to make weight. If you can't do something, don't make the agreement and put everyone else through your weight issues.

With your brother Jesse, what is it like watching him also go undefeated and how important is he to your success?

Very important. I want to do everything right for my brother. I want to set the tone and make my mark so that he has goals to reach out to.

Is there any friendly competition between the two of you?

There's always competition! That's just being brothers. We're just very competitive with each other but we've never took it to the extreme. We know that we're athletes and we have to beat the guys that are out there, not each other.

Do you and Jesse watch tape of each other after fights and give notes?

That's one thing about the two of us, if my brother sees something in the ring or in the gym, he'll notify me real quick and tell me what he sees. I do the same thing for him. We're constantly coaching and helping each other out. We have more than one coach here for the gym.

You are fighting in your backyard of Las Vegas again. Do you enjoy fighting at home better than anywhere else?

I love it. The energy here is crazy and it gets wild. Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world. When we go anywhere else it's not as big or the same. It doesn't matter to me though. If there's a ring anywhere on the planet, put me in there and I'll be comfortable.


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