Jessie Magdaleno Ready For Gary Russell Jr. Following Return Fight
As Top Rank continues its transition back into weekly boxing events, one fighter is looking ahead to future bouts. Jessie Magdaleno’s quest to return to championship form can start with a win tonight, June 11.
A former WBO Junior-Featherweight Champion, Magdaleno (27-1) will face off against Yenifel Vicente from inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The second card back for Top Rank, Magdaleno will look to impress in the main event. A win could propel him to face WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr.
“I think it’d be a bad-ass fight,” Magdaleno stated to Boxing Scene regarding Russell. “You know, two lefties going at it. Two very strong, fast lefties, very smart guys that are gonna be in the ring. It’s gonna be a chess match, but at the end of the day, I feel like I can overpower Gary Russell. I feel that I have the youth on my side. I feel that I’m a little bit smarter and my defense is a little bit better. And I feel like I pack more punch than he does. Like I’ve said, as long as I’m dedicated to myself and I keep working hard, like I have been, I really don’t think anybody could stop me.”
Magdaleno was supposed to fight back in March against Sakaria Lukas in the co-main event under the postponed Shakur Stevenson-Miguel Marriaga fight. He won the WBO Junior-Featherweight Title back in 2016 against Nonito Donaire and lost the title against Isaac Dogboe in 2018. Vicente (36-4-2), his opponent, is coming off of a knockout-win over Rodolfo Hernandez Montoya for the WBO (Latino) Super-Bantamweight Title.
Russell (31-1) is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar back in February. It was his fifth time retaining the WBC Featherweight Title.
The 32-year-old made his professional debut in 2009. “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr. lost his first fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko for the WBO Featherweight Title. Two fights later he beat Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBC Featherweight Title. Russell has fought almost once a year now due to either injury and picking his opponents. In a FIGHT SPORTS exclusive, Russell mentioned fighting competitors like Leo Santa Cruz and Gervonta Davis.
Normally at 122 pounds, Magdaleno came into tonight’s fight at 127.5. It is a new test for him as he makes the transition to the next chapter of his career. The number one contender for Russell’s title, Magdaleno’s fight with Vicente is the ultimate appetizer for the potential main course.
The main card action for Magdaleno-Vicente begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.