by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Jessie Magdaleno has dyed his hair blond to express his confidence and boost his training in preparation for his title shot at five division world champion and current super bantamweight king Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire when they clash at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 5.
Gilbert Manzano of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Magdaleno has been oozing with confidence since his fight with Donaire was made official and said he decided to dye his hair blonde last week to express that confidence, and give him a boost during sparring.
Most fighters tend to tone down the sparring sessions with less than three weeks to go before a big fight, but Magdaleno is just getting started.
He spars three times a week and doesn’t plan on changing that schedule until fight week. Magdaleno said “for this fight, we don’t tone it down.
We’re going to continue to work hard and give it everything we have until fight day comes, and when that day comes, we’ll go another level. It’s a big fight and we’re not taking it lightly.”
Magdaleno said he has faced up to six sparring partners during this training camp. The list includes Jonatan Romero, the former IBF junior featherweight champion from Colombia, and Manny Robles Jr., the son of Manny Sr. who trains Magdaleno.
He told boxing writer Manzano “I don’t know if it’s common to spar that often, but Manny puts me in there, and man, it’s a blast. Every single one of them makes me work and makes me think in there.”
Magdaleno, 24, has thrown verbal jabs at the 33-year-old Donaire by calling his him old and washed up. But the Las Vegan still respects his Filipino opponent, and is well aware of Donaire’s strong left hook.
He noted “The only challenge I see from him, and everyone knows this, is his left hook. He has a very strong left hook. He has either knocked people out with it or stunned them with it. That’s why we brought in guys with strong left hooks. We’ll be ready.”
Magdaleno speaks with conviction when the subject is about his first title shot. His manager Frank Espinoza, sees the confidence and desire from his young fighter on a daily basis. He said “I’ve seen a change in Jessie, a big change. I’ve seen a change in Jessie where he’s hungrier. He’s working hard. He really wants this and is putting in the work with Manny Robles.”