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Jesse Magdaleno steps up

Story by Andreas Hale
Photos by Mary Ann Owen /

With a sterling amateur background, 20-year-old Jesse Magdaleno decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Diego and turn pro in late 2010 rather than stick around for the opportunity to be a standout at the 2012 London Olympic games. The decision appears to have been a smart one thus far as the 10-0 Las Vegan has starched his last two opponents in the first round and it appears that Top Rank has big plans for both Jesse and Diego. With the younger Magdaleno kicking off ESPN's Friday Night Fights against little known Aldimar Silva Santos, it's an opportunity to show the world what the blue chip prospect at 122lbs has in store. FightNews caught up with Jesse Magdaleno while training at Barry's Gym in preparation for his fight to get his thoughts on his opponent, being impressive and helping his brother achieve greatness.

What do you know about your opponent Aldimar Silva Santos?

I heard he's tall and he's older than me; he's 31 and I'm 20. He's right handed. We're going to look over the videos and figure out what needs to be done.

It sounds like a different style matchup for you. He's a little bit taller and more experienced. I'm sure you figured that this is the style that you would be matched up with so what have you been working on heading into camp?

I've been sparring with a lot of tall guys. I'm getting a lot of work in with guys that are bigger than I am. He's a grown man so we'll see where his power and skills are at.

Coming off of your last two fights where you've looked sensational with a couple of first round stoppages, how important is it for you to get some rounds in this time? Or is it more about jumping on the opportunity to knock him out if it presents itself?

That's the way I see it. If we can take the guy out, why not? If we see that he's durable and can last, we'll go into the later rounds and see where both of our conditionings are at. The way camp is, my conditioning is spectacular. We worked on a lot of things and creating some more explosion. I don't doubt my conditioning at all.

You've been able to fight at a pretty brisk pace at about a fight every two months. Do you want to keep that pace up?

If we keep getting first round knockouts then I want to keep getting right back into the ring as soon as possible. I know that I'm in great shape so whatever challenges come out of this we're ready for.

This fight will open up the ESPN Friday Night Fight card, does being on television in front of an entire nation play in the back of your mind?

My last fight, it played in the back of my head. ESPN is a big television network so I was a little nervous but as soon as I got into the ring everything went away. I love being on TV and ESPN, but as long as we get our work done, that's what's important.

But obviously your aim is to not only win, but win impressively...

Oh yeah! We have to be impressive. Always look to be impressive whenever you fight.

Your brother fights on Saturday so this camp has been for the both of you. How important has the big brother been to the little brother's success?

He's very important to my success because if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. My father and Diego pushed me to be where I needed to be and that's why right now we are 10-0.

Diego mentioned that you two can be competitive at times.

Yeah, we are a little competitive. We're competitive people so what else can you expect? We're in the gym going back and forth to see who's better. There's no doubt that we'll always be that way. We've been like this since we were kids.

After fights do the two of you watch each other's fights and pick apart the performances?

Yeah! We tell each other what we could have and should have done to improve. But most of the time we finish our fighters so there's not much more to improve on. Diego has really been finishing fighters as of late and I've been seeking knockouts as well.

Did you play any part in Diego's sudden power surge?

Ummmm...not really. He knows where he's at. I tell him to get his speed up. He's fast but what we want is a little more explosion out of him and that's what you've been seeing lately. He's been doing his thing.

You're 10-0 right now in your career that started in late 2010. Are you satisfied with your progression thus far?

I'm comfortable with the pace but if we can ramp it up, that would be great. I'm always looking for challenges and the opportunity to show the world my talent.



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