A parent’s wishes for their children don’t always come true. Such was the case with Diego Armando Magdaleno, born to a father whose favorite sport is soccer. Magdaleno was named after soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona of Argentina, and as a child he played soccer. But as this particular story goes, each day on the way to the soccer field in Los Angeles, Magdaleno was eerily drawn to a boxing gym. When Magdaleno finally asked his father to take him into the gym to try it out, he quickly knew his future was not on the pitch, but in the ring.
Shortly thereafter, Magdaleno and his family moved to Las Vegas, where he still resides today. A natural right-hander, Magdaleno was converted to a southpaw while training in Las Vegas. Magdaleno’s family has become what some may call a “fighting family”. His younger brother, Jesse, is an undefeated super bantamweight prospect (Jesse fights Saturday on Diego’s undercard), and he has another brother, Marcos, who currently competes in the amateur ranks.
Diego Magdaleno’s amateur career consisted of approximately 130 fights, and he won an estimated 116 of his amateur bouts. Magdaleno won a Silver medal at the 2006 National PAL Championships and a Gold medal at the 2007 U.S. National Championships before his first professional fight in December of 2007.
After an extensive amateur career, Magdaleno turned to the paid ranks on the Las Vegas youth circuit. As is expected with someone with a thorough amateur pedigree, Magdaleno passed easily through the four, six, and eight-rounders before graduating up to ten-round fights. Magdaleno went on to stop two of his first three ten-round opponents, two of which were modest tests in Marcos Jimenez and Gilberto Sanchez Leon.
Last July, Magdaleno tested himself against another young fighter, Alejandro Perez. Magdaleno tasted the canvas in his fight with Perez, but came back to win every other round in the fight, scoring a ten-round unanimous decision victory over the 26-year old Perez. Later in the year, Magdaleno pitched a shutout against former Manny Pacquiao opponent and world title challenger, Emmanuel Lucero. And in March, Magdaleno stopped former jr. featherweight/featherweight world title challenger Fernando Beltran Jr. in seven rounds.
Magdaleno heads back to familiar grounds when he faces 40-year old Antonio Davis (29-7, 13 KOs) at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas (where he fought twice in 2011), Nevada this Saturday night on Telefutura. Davis is a three-time world title challenger, but at this stage of his career he is more of a faded gatekeeper. With his lack of punching power it is unlikely he’ll provide much of a threat to the 25-year old Magdaleno, but he’ll be someone with the experience of sharing the ring with the likes of Joan Guzman, Humberto Soto, and Jhonny Gonzalez, and should be able to give Magdaleno, who is not known as a hard puncher, some valuable rounds.
Magdaleno is currently ranked number 11 by The Boxing Tribune, and number 2 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC). He also sits comfortably at the number 4 slot with the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and number 7 in the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) rankings. With another victory on Saturday night, Magdaleno could be closing in on his first world title shot – with the alphabet soup organization of his choosing – in the near future.
**Some biographical information was sourced at TopRank.com**