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Nonito Donaire and Jessie Magdaleno expect slugfest on Pacquiao undercard

Nonito Donaire, Nicholas Walters
Nonito Donaire, left, fights Nicholas Walters at StubHub Center in 2014. The Filipino Donaire will face Jessie Magdaleno Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
(Jonathan Moore / Getty Images)

Jessie Magdaleno believes the strength and energy of youth will make him a champion.

Nonito Donaire is counting on his experience and timeless passion for boxing to retain his World Boxing Organization super-bantamweight belt.

The mystery of the outcome will remain until Nov. 5, when the meeting of Magdaleno (23-0, 17 knockouts) and Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) is seen by many as the better of two bouts pitting a Las Vegas fighter and a product of the Philippines.

That night’s pay-per-view main event at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas is the World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout between champion Jessie Vargas and former eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao.

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“Both Jessies from Las Vegas beating both big fighters from the Philippines,” Magdaleno said. “That’d be something.”

At Tuesday’s undercard news conference at L.A. Live’s Conga Room, Magdaleno, 24, couldn’t hide his excitement for the co-main-event bout that could give him his first world title.

He’s training in Carson alongside unbeaten new WBO featherweight Oscar Valdez, and said the sessions have proved beneficial.

“I can relate to him. I’m just as old as he is.  He’s accomplished his goals. I’m ready to accomplish mine,” Magdaleno said. “We feed off each other. He has a belt like the one I want, and he sees in me the hunger as I train and work hard.”

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Magdaleno has a significant weigh-in test before the bout. He hasn’t fought under the super-bantamweight limit of 122 pounds since January 2015, and he weighed 131½ pounds for his most recent bout in February.  

“That’s everybody’s concern. It’s not my concern. I can make that weight, it’s going to be an easy task,” Magdaleno said. “The time’s here. I’ll take full advantage of it. I believe youth is going to overpower [Donaire].”

Donaire, 33, has won four consecutive bouts and scored three knockdowns en route to his April title defense in the Philippines.

He’s thrilled to finally be on a card with Pacquiao and predicted a Filipino sweep of the final two bouts.

“Experience has to be desire, as well. You always need tenacity and determination because youth and experience don’t matter unless you have your mind, body and soul into preparing yourself,” Donaire said. “And then I’ll utilize my experience of knowing exactly where the kid’s going to be.”

Both fighters are expecting an early end to their bout.

“It’ll come down to who has the heart to keep going,” Magdaleno said. “I’m a big risk taker. Risks make champions. I’ve got to be the stronger, smarter fighter and once he feels my power, he’ll have an entirely different mentality.”

Magdaleno assesses that Donaire has stamina issues which he intends to press. But Donaire expects to take energy from a large Filipino cheering section.

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“I’m ready to answer [Magdaleno’s theory]. That’s inexperience,” Donaire said. “You should always know I get better every time I fight. If he expects me to be tired, he’s going to lose.”


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