Oscar Valdez, Jessie Magdaleno tell fans why they should buy Nov. 5 card that includes Pacquiao-Vargas in main event

Jessie Magdaleno

Jessie Magdaleno/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


The heck with the naysayers. According to Oscar Valdez and Jessie Magdaleno, there are plenty of reasons why fans should buy their Nov. 5 pay-per-view card that will be headlined by Manny Pacquiao challenging Jessie Vargas for his welterweight title at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Indeed, there is not as much buzz for this Pacquiao fight as usual. Valdez and Magdaleno are in title fights on the undercard, and when asked why fans should fork over the $59.95 for the Top Rank-produced feed, they let everyone know why this is a worthwhile purchase.

“Why shouldn’t they?” Magdaleno said Thursday during a workout at Jackrabbit Boxing Club in Long Beach. “They’ve got great, young talent that’s in that ring. They’ve got myself, they’ve got Jessie Vargas, they’ve got Oscar Valdez – two-time Olympian who is now a world champion. They’ve got great upcoming historical guys who are going to make history in the boxing world, and who are going to put on great shows as the years go on.

“… We are the future of boxing and we are action-packed guys who want to put on great shows as great Mexican guys. We want to live to that legend. And that’s what we’re doing. That’s why people should continue buying this pay per view card.”

Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs), of Las Vegas, will challenge Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) for his super bantamweight title.

Mexico’s Valdez (20-0, 18 KOs) will make the first defense of his featherweight world title when he squares off with Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19 KOs) of Japan. Valdez put his own colorful spin on why this is a solid purchase.

“First of all, you’ve got Jessie Magadaleno,” Valdez said. “Hungry lion, as they say, fighting Nonito Donaire, which, Nonito is still a tough, tough fighter. He’s one of the top fighters out there, so that;s going to be a great, great fight. Me, as a fan, I would love to see that fight. In my case, I’m fighting the WBO ranked No. 1 – Osawa. A lot of people don’t know this guy because he mainly did his career in Japan. But he’s still a tough fighter. I don’t take him lightly at all and I never will take a fighter lightly.

“In my case, I’m going to give it my best. … And then, finally, you’ve got this fighter, Pacquiao, fighting Jessie Vargas. Jessie Vargas is not easy. He could beat Pacquiao. Anyone that knows boxing knows that Jessie Vargas could beat Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s still Pacquiao. I still think Pacquiao is going to put up a good fight, he always puts up a good fight. And I think that’s why everyone should buy this fight.”

There is a fourth world-title fight on this card. It will match Zou Shiming (8-1, 2 KOs) of China against  Prasitsak Papoem (39-1-2, 24 KOs) of Thailand for a vacant flyweight title.


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Art Hovhannisyan wants to put on show Friday in main event at Belasco Theater

Art Hovhannisyan addresses reporters at this week’s media workout in Los Angeles/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


If Art Hovhannisyan of Glendale stays true to his credo, fans could be in for a good time when he takes on Diego Magdaleno in the junior welterweight main event Friday at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (on Estrella TV).

“I started my boxing career when I was 12, and was inspired by my favorite boxer, Mike Tyson,” Hovhannisyan said. “I’m the type of fighter that loves to put on a show in the ring.”

Hovhannisyan could have his hands full with Magdaleno, a southpaw out of Las Vegas who is 29-2 with 12 knockouts.

“… I have watched him fight a few times,” Hovhannisyan said. “I know what I have to do in the ring to earn the victory.”

Magdaleno is the older brother of Jessie Magdaleno, who Nov. 5 will challenge Nonito Donaire for his super bantamweight title on the undercard of the Jessie Vargas-Manny Pacquiao welterweight title fight at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95.

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Jessie Magdaleno looks for first title, but will have hands full with Nonito Donaire

Jessie Magdaleno

Jessie Magdaleno/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


World-class boxer Jessie Magdaleno was born in Pomona, but he moved away at age 4 and has since called Las Vegas home.

“Vegas, it’s been good to me,” Magdaleno said. “It’s been a great city and I just have so many kid memories from there.”

It is therefore appropriate that Magadaleno will fight for his first world title in his backyard. He’ll challenge Nonito Donaire for his super bantamweight belt on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas welterweight title fight Nov. 5 at Thomas & Mack Center.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” Magdaleno said this week at an L.A. news conference.

That’s for sure. Donaire, of San Leandro via the Philippines, has won world titles in four weight classes. He’s more than likely going to one day be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Nevertheless, the undefeated Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) speaks in undaunted tones about this shot.

“It’s a big challenge for me, but like I tell everybody, I have this vision and I feel like my age and my speed and my power is really going to overcome him,” Magdaleno said. “I take nothing from him. He’s a great fighter. He’s accomplished what he’s accomplished in the sport.

“But I believe it’s time there’s a new champion and I believe it’s me.”

Magdaleno, a southpaw, is just 24. Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) is 33 and has been in plenty of ring wars. Frank Espinoza, Magdaleno’s West Covina-based manager, intimated his fighter has to go hard all the way through to take full advantage of his youth.

“We’ve gotta look to go all 12 rounds and wear him down because we are the younger fighter,” Espinoza said. “I think it’s his time and I believe Jessie Magdaleno is going to become a world champion Nov. 5.”

For Donaire, he’s stoked about fighting on the same card as Pacquiao for the first time. He also likes where his head is at, and he figures that’s bad news for Magdaleno.

“Most of all, I’m very excited for the mind-set that I have,” he said. “The person that’s within this ring, that’s going to be in that ring is a man who’s a king. And whoever steps in that ring, it’s my ring.”

This card will be available on Top Rank pay-per-view for $59.95.

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Longtime promoter Bob Arum shoots down foolish notion that boxing is dead


Bob Arum/Getty Images file photo


Longtime promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday played host to a news conference in Los Angeles to formally announce the undercard for the Nov. 5 welterweight title fight between champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95).

Not one to miss an opportunity, Arum closed the proceedings by talking about how alive and well boxing is – contrary to what some think. It wasn’t long ago that an L.A.-area columnist (not from this newspaper) who doesn’t even cover boxing said boxing was dead.

“Boxing not only isn’t dead, but it’s on the cusp of a great resurgence,” Arum said on the dais at the Conga Room. “You have all of these great, young fighters from the United States, from Mexico and from all around the world who are coming to the world stage.”

While pondering that, just think of all the terrific fighters not from the U.S. or Mexico making a big splash here these days. We’re talking the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Sergey Kovalev, Kell Brook and Carl Frampton to name just five.

“We are on the cusp of really a time in boxing where people all around the world will join together to watch our great athletes perform,” Arum said.

The main undercard fight for Pacqjuiao-Vargas will have Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) of San Leandro via the Philippines defending his super bantamweight belt against Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) of Las Vegas.

Also, newly crowned featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (20-0, 18 KOs) of Mexico will defend his title against Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19 KOs) of Japan.

Finally, Zou Shiming (8-1, 2 KOs) of China and Prasitsak Papoem (39-1-2, 24 KOs) of Thailand will duke it out for a vacant flyweight world title.


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Magdaleno brothers take care of business Saturday in Hawaiian Gardens

Diego Magdaleno and his younger brother Jessie took care of business on Saturday at C. Robert Lee Activities Center in Hawaiian Gardens.

Diego Magdaleno, 27, ran his record to 25-1 with 10 knockouts with a fourth-round knockout of Jorge Pazos (14-7-1) of Mexico in a super featherweight fight. Pazos is 24.

Jessie Magdaleno, 22, is now 18-0 with 14 knockouts after stopping Roberto Castaneda, 22, of Mexico, in the fifth round of their super bantamweight bout. Castaneda is 20-6-1.

The Magdaleno brothers are from Las Vegas.

Jack Reiss, a formerly Beverly Hills fire captain, was the referee in both fights

The card was televised on UniMas.

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