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Diego Magdaleno Bio
Soccer’s Loss Is Boxing’s Gain
Diego Magdaleno was a wild child.
“I had no direction as a kid. I was hostile. I was getting into fights, getting into trouble,” said Magdaleno. “Like a lot of young fighters, they get out there and they have so much energy and they don’t know how to express it.”
The fourth-born of six children who are of Mexican descent, Magdaleno was often able to release that combustion on the soccer fields.
“My Dad was a huge soccer fan. I went to every one of my Dad’s games. I grew up playing soccer, but not officially. His wishes were for me to play soccer. In fact, he named me after a soccer player -- Diego Armando Maradona. My name is Diego Armando Magdelano,” said Magdaleno, referring to the Argentine star.
“One day, on the way to the soccer fields, we drove by a boxing gym. The garage doors were open. I saw the ring, heavy bags swinging and asked my Dad what it was. He said, ‘It’s a boxing gym. You know that sport that we go watch at our neighbor’s house and watch those classic Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez [Sr.] fights?’ One day, we went into the gym for my first day, and I’ve been going ever since.”
A converter southpaw, Magdaleno began boxing at the age of 8. As an amateur, he earned a gold medal in the 2007 U.S. National Championships and the 2004 Western Olympic Trials and a silver in the 2006 Police Athletic League (PAL) championships.
Magdaleno’s 130-pound professional debut was a four-round unanimous decision over Francisco Palacio in December 2007, after which he went 6-0 (3 KOs) the following year.
In 2008, Magdelano stopped Quinton Webb (February), Jose Gomez (March) and Jorge Ruiz (September) by first-, second- and fifth-round TKOs and earned unanimous decisions over Angel Rodriguez (June), Travis Thompson (October) and Scott Furney (August) in the fourth, fourth and sixth rounds.
Nicknamed “2Fuego” (2 Fire), Magdaleno won a blistering five fights each in 2009 and 2010. The former comprised four- and eight-round unanimous decisions over Juan Santiago (May) and Josenilson Dos Santos (November) and six-rounders over Rodrigo Aranda (February), Juan Montiel (May) and Carlos Vinan (August). Santiago and Montiel were separated by 15 days.
The next year Magdaleno notched back-to-back eight-round unanimous decisions over Geraldo Robles (January) and Floriano Pagliara (February) followed by his first 10-rounder against Manuel Perez (April) and fourth- and fifth-round TKO victories over Derrick Campos (November) and Carlos Oliveira (September).
Four more wins in 2011 improved Magdaleno to 20-0 (7 KOs) with fifth- and third-round TKOs of Marcos Leonardo Jimenez (January) and Gilberto Sanchez Leon (May) preceding 10-round unanimous decisions over Alejandro Perez (July) and Emmanuel Lucero (November).
Magdaleno won seven of nine bouts from 2012 through 2015, losing 130- and 135-pound WBO championship bouts by two-knockdown split-decision to Roman Martinez (April 2013) and three-knockdown, second-round TKO to then-unbeaten Terry Flanagan (October 2015).
In 2012, Magdaleno stopped Fernando Beltran (March) and Antonio Davis (August) via seventh- and fourth-round TKO, and, in 2013, won a 10-round unanimous decision over Edgar Riovalle (September).
In 2014, third- and fourth-round knockouts of Hevinson Herrera (November) and Jorge Pazos (February) were separated by an eight-round unanimous decision over Oscar Bravo (May).
Magdaleno’s seventh-round TKO of Jose A Gonzalez (June) in 2015 preceded his loss to Flanagan, from which he rebounded in October 2016 with a 10-round unanimous decision over Art Hovhannisyan.
Magdaleno won twice in 2018 to improve to 31-2 (13 KOs) following a fifth-round TKO over Emmanuel Herrera (May) and a 10-round unanimous decision over Jesus Cuadero (September).
That set up Magdaleno for perhaps his most difficult opponent and most brutal loss via two-knockdown seventh-round TKO to unbeaten star Teofimo Lopez in February 2019, who rose to 12-0 (10 KOs) with his third straight knockout victory.
Magdaleno turned aggressor in his next bout in February, a seventh-round body shot knockdown cementing a 10-round unanimous decision over southpaw Austin Dulay.
“Tonight, I took my time. If I attack anyone to the body, they’re going to break down,” said Magdeleno of Dulay, who slipped to 13-2 (10 KOs). “One thing I learned from the previous losses was that I lost the game plan, but nothing’s gonna shock me anymore.”
Magdaleno looks for a repeat performance on September 26 opposite Isaac Cruz Gonzalez (19-1-1, 14 KOs), a 22-year-old from Mexico City.
“This is another young, Mexican fighter with knockout power in both hands and he’s gonna come out swinging, but he’s shorter than I am by a lot. I can out-box him, use my range, or I can bend my knees and fight him. He more or less winds up to knock you out,” said Magdaleno.
“So I’m gonna lure him into throwing those wide, overhand rights and those looping hooks and catch him while he’s throwing. I’m gonna come in smart and take this guy out. He’s never been stopped, but I’m going to be the first to do it.”