Jessie Vargas might not be the only Las Vegan named Jessie on the Nov. 5 boxing card at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Jessie Magdaleno, who grew up in Las Vegas, is currently in contract talks to face Filipino Nonito Donaire in a junior featherweight title match that could land on the Manny Pacquiao-Vargas undercard.
It would be a battle of the Filipinos versus the locals. Donaire (37-3, 24 knockouts) has never fought on the same card as Pacquiao.
“I was just talking about that the other day with my coach, how cool would that be if two Vegas fighters face two Filipinos, and we both win titles,” Magdaleno said. “It would be great for Vegas and a great day for both of us. I hope it happens.”
Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) is the mandatory challenger for Donaire’s WBO 122-pound belt. Vargas will make his first WBO welterweight title defense against Pacquiao.
Receiving his first title shot on Nov. 5 would be an early birthday gift for Magdaleno, who turns 25 on Nov. 8.
“It’s finally going to happen, I’ve been waiting on (Donaire) for almost a year now and finally things are falling into place,” said Magdaleno, whose brother, Diego, is a lightweight contender. “My manager Frank Espinoza is working on the contract and just waiting on his green light.”
Jessie Magdaleno moved to Carson, California, two months ago to work out with new trainer Manny Robles. Magdaleno broke ties with former trainer Joel Diaz.
“It’s been a great change and I see a great future with me and Manny together,” said Magdaleno, who last fought in February in a knockout victory against Ray Perez. “I’ve already seen a lot of improvement in the last two months.”
Magdaleno said his relationship with Diaz wasn’t the same after Timothy Bradley Jr. left his camp last year.
“Me and Joel weren’t clicking anymore,” he said. “The fire with him kind of died out after Tim Bradley left him and his passion for the sport wasn’t there. He treated me like I was just any fighter and I didn’t respect that, and had to tell him I’m packing my bags.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is expected to release the full Pacquiao-Vargas undercard on Sept. 8 during a news conference in Los Angeles.