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Eight-rounder new challenge for Magdaleno

It’s time for Jesse Magdaleno to take on a new challenge.

The undefeated 20-year-old super bantamweight from Durango High School is scheduled to fight eight rounds for the first time Friday when he faces Carlos Valcarcel at the Hard Rock Hotel. ESPN2 will televise the fight as part of the undercard for the main event featuring super middleweight Kelly Pavlik against Scott Sigmon.

“It’s a huge step for me,” Magdaleno (9-0, six knockouts) said. “I’m in great shape, and I trained for eight rounds.”

Pat Barry, Magdaleno’s trainer, said his fighter is ready to handle longer bouts.

“I’m trying to let Jesse go, like you would a race horse,” he said. “You’ve got to let him run.

“He’s facing a guy who has fought eight and 10 rounds. But we sparred longer for this fight to give him that comfort zone.”

Valcarcel (12-4-4, five KOs) has lost his past two fights, both 10-rounders. Magdaleno is coming off an impressive first-round knockout of Nick Fast on April 28 in Pomona, Calif.

“If the knockout comes, it comes,” Magdaleno said. “But I’m not afraid of the fight going the distance.”

He’s also looking forward to fighting on national TV.

“It’s a pleasure to be on TV,” he said. “It gets me more exposure, which is great.”

Eighteen months into his pro career, Magdaleno is being kept busy by Top Rank, which promotes him and his older brother, Diego, the reigning NABF super featherweight champion who is ranked No. 1 in the 130-pound division by the WBC. This will be Jesse Magdaleno’s third fight this year, and the experience will help him as his bouts get longer and his opposition gets tougher.

“This is what I was hoping for,” he said. “I love staying busy, and I’m learning something from every fight, which will help me in the future.

“In my last fight, I saw a lot of openings, and I finished it. I didn’t let (Fast) hang around. I learned that if you can take a guy out, you do it. I also got to fight out of town, and that was a great experience. I was very comfortable being in California. It’s not as good as being home to fight, but traveling there, staying in the hotel, dealing with a different commission, all of those things were good for me to learn from.”

The first bell is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the telecast at 7.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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