At the age of 25, Jessie is a six-year pro. The WBO junior featherweight world champion, he is one of boxing’s rising young stars. Before his debut, he was an amateur standout.
Jessie is a stablemate of WBO featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez – both are managed by Frank Espinoza and trained by Manuel Robles. Jessie is also the younger brother, by five years, of lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno.
Jessie stayed active in the ring with three fights in 2015 and two in 2016 and gave impressive performances.
In his last fight on November 5 in Las Vegas, he won the WBO title with a 12-round unanimous decision against former four-division world champion and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “2012 Fighter of the Year” Nonito Donaire. The bout was one of the co-features with the Manny Pacquiao–Jessie Vargas main event.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: In a hard-hitting and highly entertaining fight, Jessie Magdaleno upset Nonito Donaire by unanimous decision to win a junior featherweight world title at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Magdaleno, the mandatory challenger, had never been past eight rounds, but he outworked Donaire en route to decision on scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.
Donaire opened a cut over Magdaleno’s left eye on an accidental head butt in the fourth round. Donaire’s face was also showing wear, as he had a swollen lump under his left eye.
Magdaleno’s best weapon was his right hand, which he landed a lot, while Donaire lunged with his tight and had a hard time connecting cleanly.
Magdaleno had a huge ninth round, as he backed Donaire into the ropes with a flurry in the final minute and worked him over. Magdaleno landed several unanswered punches, including some hard right hands and a big left as the round wore down.
But Donaire came out strong in the 10th round and hurt Magdaleno early with a right hand….
Donaire closed strongly. He landed a right hand that seemed to stun a tiring Magdaleno in the final minute of the fight and struck with several more powerful right hands as the crowd went wild. [End Rafael item]
After the fight, Jessie said, “It feels great to be a champion. I can’t believe this right now. I have worked so hard for this. I can’t believe I beat a fighter like Donaire. I don’t have words to describe it.”
In an earlier interview, Jessie said in an earlier interview, “When I fight, I can be a boxer and at the same time, I can be a brawler. My game, I usually put the pressure on more. After my first professional fight, I kind of noticed that I still sort of fighting like an amateur, throwing an outrageous amount of punches and using my speed a lot more.
“After that fight, me and Diego, we worked hard and he taught me a lot of stuff that I kept my eyes open on, from calming down, using the ring more, being a boxer instead of always being a brawler.”
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Jessie said, “I was born in Pomona, California. I don’t remember exactly, but we were in Pomona for a couple of years, then we moved back to L.A., where my mom is originally from, and from there we moved to Las Vegas. There’s six of us – I have three older sisters, my older brother Diego, and my younger brother, Marco. My dad played soccer professionally.
“When I was younger, I loved playing soccer – soccer was my passion. But as I started progressing in boxing, I left soccer behind and just stayed with the boxing.
“I was about seven years old when I started boxing. Diego’s about five years older than me. Seeing him training every day, being in the gym, that’s what got me involved in it. I always followed him when I was younger, I wanted to be the same as him.
“Altogether, I had about 138 amateur fights. I remember I had 15 losses.
“I’m naturally right-handed, but I can write with both hands. I broke my right hand when I was in fourth grade and I learned how to write with my left hand.”…
2009 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Denver, Colorado, 119 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: on 6-8-09 he won a 26-10 decision against Ramon Morales of San Ardo, Calif.; in the quarterfinals on 6-10-09 he stopped Isaac Torres of Mission, Tex., in the 3rd round; in the semifinals on 6-11-09 he had a 19-19 draw, but won the tiebreaker against Rau’shee Warren of Cincinnati, Oh.; in the finals on 6-13-09 he won a 17-4 decision against Luis Rosa of East Haven, Conn.…
2009 NATIONAL GOLDEN GLOVES CHAMPIONSHIPS – Salt Lake City, Utah, 119 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: on 5-5-09 he won a decision against Brian Paiz of New Jersey; on 5-6-09 he won a decision against Antonio Nieves of Cleveland; in the quarterfinals on 5-7-09 he won a decision against Randy Caballero of California; in the semifinals on 5-8-09 he won a decision against Ernesto Garza of Michigan; in the finals on 5-9-09 he won a decision against John Franklin of Colorado/New Mexico…
STRENGTHS: A lefthander with good skills and movement…has an aggressive style and good punching power…had a strong amateur background…has a strong family boxing background…
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 6 years, 5 months…24 fights…99 total rounds…
AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 4.1 rounds…
KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: 70 %…
DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 1 (1-0)…10 rounds – 0…8 rounds – 3 (3-0)…