With an eye toward his upcoming fight against WBO junior lightweight titleholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Diego Magdaleno has studied the Puerto Rican’s past two fights — a belt-winning split-decision victory over Miguel Beltran Jr. in September as well as last month’s disputed 12-round split-draw with Juan Carlos Burgos.
A 26-year-old contender from Las Vegas, Magdaleno (23-0, 9 knockouts) had each of those fights in mind when he signed recently to pursue his third straight stoppage victory and his first title opportunity against Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs). The bout will take place on April 6 in Macau, China, as part of a blockbuster card promoted by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel.
“Roman Martinez was the same guy against Burgos as he was when he fought Beltran. He was the same guy in the next fight, afterward, with Burgos,” said Magdaleno, THE RING’s No. 5-rated junior lightweight.
“He’s a durable guy, I’ll give him that, you know. He comes in shape. I know that he’s going to come at me. But I noticed some things that he was doing when he was on his defense. He shells up. That was one thing about him, and I know that I can pick him apart when he does that.”
A solid boxer, Magdaleno has worn down and eventually stopped his past two opponents, Fernando Beltran and Antonio Davis, in the seventh and fourth rounds, respectively.
Magdaleno believes he can do the same thing to Martinez for a victory that would represent the most definitive of his career simply by picking up where Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KOs) left off in their bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“My plan of attack is to go out there and to do just that, you know? Be smart, go out there and give him a lot of angles. When he shells up, you know, hit him and work his body,” said Magdaleno of Martinez, whose lone loss was by unanimous decision to current WBO lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns in September of 2010.
“I think that Burgos was doing that in the beginning. But then, Burgos kind of let up off of him after that. I’m going to work his body and just do what I do. I’m a thinker when it comes to boxing, and that’s what I love to do. I’ll break him down and I think that in the later rounds that it’s going to be tough for him. I think that possibly, I can take him out.”
Viloria, who is 32, is coming off November’s Fight-of-The-Year caliber 10th-round stoppage of then-WBA beltholder Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, whom he floored three times on the way to unifying the 112-pound crowns for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Hard-hitting Estrada, 22, challenged undefeated 108-pound beltholder Roman Gonzalez in the co-feature to Viloria-Marquez, dropping a competitive and thrilling unanimous decision to the talented Nicaraguan.
Junior flyweight Zou Shiming, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world amateur champion from China, will make his professional debut on the show.
A 31-year-old boxer who is among China’s most popular Olympic athletes, Zou is considered the world’s greatest amateur junior flyweight, having captured gold medals in the World Amateur Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2011, and gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 summer Olympic Games.
Zou also earned an Olympic bronze medal in 2004, making him his nation’s first Olympic medalist in boxing. With his later victories he also became its first boxing gold medalist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics.
Photo by German Villasenor, Top Rank
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org