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Unbeaten Magdaleno tests limits in eight-round bouts

Diego Magdaleno never was thrown into the deep end of the pool and told to swim. Instead, his boxing career began in the shallow end, letting him gain gradual comfort and confidence.

Fighting mostly four- and six-round bouts, the 23-year-old super featherweight is 12-0 with three knockouts since his December 2007 debut. But Magdaleno will tread into deeper and more turbulent waters Saturday when he tries to go eight rounds for the second time, facing Gerardo Robles at the Hard Rock Hotel.

“I think I’m making good progress with my career,” the Las Vegas-based fighter said. “I think not rushing into anything was the right thing to do. I’m still learning as I go, and I can see the improvement I’ve made when I watch tapes of myself.”

Magdaleno’s most recent fight was his first eight-rounder, and he earned a unanimous decision over Josenilson Dos Santos on Nov. 13 at the Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues. The experience can only help against Robles (9-8, two KOs).

“I think I’m comfortable going longer,” he said. “I felt strong at the end of that fight, so eight rounds isn’t a problem.”

His trainer, Pat Barry, said there was no need to rush.

“The mindset is, haste makes waste,” Barry said. “Without proper planning and development, it’s hard to go back and start over, so we wanted to take our time with Diego and make sure we did things right with him the first time.

“I think the better the competition he fights, the better he is. He showed that in his last fight. He paced himself, and he fought a very smart fight for his first time going eight rounds.”

Magdaleno’s younger brother, Jesse, has gotten most of the publicity over the past year after winning the national Golden Gloves title and representing the United States at the World Amateur Championships. But 2010 could be a breakout year for Diego as he looks to break into the rankings and possibly earn an NABF title shot.

“I’m hoping this will be the start of a big year for me,” Magdaleno said. “The plan is to fight at least six or seven times and try to get a (title) shot.”

MAYWEATHER, PACQUIAO TESTED — Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. submitted to random drug tests by the Nevada Athletic Commission last week. Both fighters gave urine samples to the NAC through the use of controlled and approved laboratories.

NAC executive director Keith Kizer said he should have the results early this week. Neither fighter has failed a drug test in his professional career.

CHAVEZ RESPONDS — The NAC has received a response from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who tested positive for a banned substance following his victory over Troy Rowland on Nov. 14.

Chavez (41-0, 30 knockouts) tested positive for Furosemide, commonly known as Lasix, a diuretic on Nevada’s banned substance list. If found guilty, his win over Rowland would be changed to a “no contest,” he would be suspended for up to 12 months and fined up to 100 percent of his $100,000 purse.

Chavez, represented by Las Vegas attorney Peter Bernhard, likely will appear at the commission’s February meeting.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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