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Jessie Magdaleno signs extension with Top Rank


By Chris Williams: In a gambling move, Top Rank Boxing promotions has signed a multi-year extension for the recently knocked out former World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs).

It’s a good deal for Magdaleno to re-up with Top Rank, because they’ll likely match him carefully on ESPN against guys he can beat. It’s unlikely we’ll see Magdaleno back inside the ring with Isaac Dogboe, as that’s a step too far for him.

Surprisingly, Magdaleno is going to stay at super bantamweight rather than moving up to featherweight or super featherweight, which is arguably where he should be fighting given how huge he is for the 122 pound division. Magdaleno wants a rematch with Dogboe, according to his manager Frank Espinoza. That’s not a good idea, but what you can you do? If Magdaleno wants to fight Dogboe, then Top Rank will need to either make the fight or try and talk some sense to him. Once Dogboe knocks Magdaleno out a second time, I think he’ll figure out that he doesn’t belong fighting at 122 against talented fighters.

The move is a BIG time gamble for Top Rank, because the 26-year-old Magdaleno was knocked out in the 11th round in his last fight by Isaac Dogboe on April 28. If Magdaleno is forced to move up in weight to the 126 pound weight class, which his body is more suited for, he’s no longer going to be able to dominate like he did before. Magdaleno is one of those types of fighters that have been able to excel because of his ability to melt down to 122 and fight guys smaller than himself.

“Jessie has consistently been in thrilling contests, including against Nonito Donaire and Isaac Dogboe,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef said to ”His style makes him must-watch TV. We believe that there are many compelling matches that will excite the fans as he looks to secure another title shot.”

Magdaleno is a good fighter when matched against the right guy. If Top Rank is going to be extra careful in the type of guys that they match Magdaleno against, he’ll do well. As long as Magdaleno is carefully matched and can somehow make 122 without draining himself like he clearly was for the Dogboe fight, he’ll be alright. But if Top Rank matches Magdaleno against a good fighter like Dogboe, Rey Vargas, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz or Oscar Valdez, he’s likely to run out of gas after three rounds and get stopped again.

If he’s forced to fight at 126, it’s likely game over for him. Instead of being a world championship level fighter, Magdaleno will be just a gatekeeper level fighter. That’s why Top Rank might have made a mistake in giving Magdaleno an extension. Magdaleno likely won’t be able to make the super bantamweight division for much longer. Once he’s forced to move up to featherweight, he’ll need to face guys his own size instead of being able to have a huge weight advantage over his opponents. That would put Magdaleno in the cross-hairs of talented featherweights like Oscar Valdez, Gary Russell Jr., Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington. Those fighters would be extremely tough for Magdaleno to beat. If somehow Magdaleno is able to continue to make 122, he’s going to have same kind of problem he had before if Top Rank feeds him to Dogboe again. I don’t think they will, because Dogboe wrecked Magdaleno last time they fought. But if Top Rank does dare throw Magdaleno inside the ring with the more athletically inclined Dogboe, he’s going to likely lose worse than he did last time.

Magdaleno gassed out after three rounds against Dogboe, and wound up taking a beating. Dogboe knocked Magdaleno down in rounds 5 and two times in round 11. The southpaw Magdaleno dropped Dogboe in round 1, and then he started gassing soon after. Magdaleno looked as big as a house insid the ring with Dogboe. My guess is Magdaleno was in the 140s easy. It’s not surprising that Magdaleno gassed out so badly in the fight, because it must have been horribly difficult for him to make the 122 pound limit for the fight. Dogboe merely withstood Magdaleno’s early onslaught and then waited for him to gas out before destroying him.

Magdaleno was a good amateur. He beat some splid fighters during his years in the amateur ranks. He didn’t make it to the Olympics, but he still did well in finishing his amateur career wih a record of 120-17. Magdaleno obviously isn’t a Vasyl Lomachenko or even a Jose Ramirez type talent. He’s a good basic slugger, who has done well when Top Rank has matched him against old timers like 35-year-old Nonito Donaire and Luis Maldonado. They blew it with matching Magdaleno against Dogboe. He was never going to win that fight no matter how much of a size advantage he had over the 23-year-old fighter from Ghana. Dogboe is too athletically gifted, young and more suited to the super bantamweight division. Magdaleno needs to be fighting in the weight class that is more suited to his body size, which is either featherweight or super featherweight.

As big as Magdaleno is, I think he should be fighting at lightweight [135], because he’s too big to be fighting at super bantamweight. I doubt that Magdaleno will willingly move up in weight to lightweight or even featherweight. Without Magdaleno’s weight advantage, he’ll be lost in fighting guys his own size. He looks better than the top featherweights. He should be fighting at either super featherweight or lightweight in my opinion, but I don’t see that happening. He’s going to likely do whatever he can to drain down to 122 to keep fighting at super bantamweight. Ultimately, I see that as a move for Magdaleno, because he’s going to continue to gas out after three rounds due to all the weight that he needs to take off to make the 122 pound weight class.

Magdaleno captured the WBO 122 pound in beating past his prime Nonito Donaire by a 12 round unanimous decision in November 2016. However, Magdaleno hasn’t been as active as he should in fighting just once in 2017 and once in 2018. He defeated Adeilson Dos Santos by a 2nd round knockout in 2017, and then lost to Dogboe. Magdaleno can beat fighters like Dos Santos obviously, but he has definite limitations of the guys he can beat. Dogboe was out of his class.

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