Jesse Magdaleno's pro debut on Nov. 6
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum insisted that he tried to talk amateur boxing standout Jesse Magdaleno into staying in the unpaid ranks for two more years to try to win a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
"I had him in the office and talked with him at length last week and I tried to convince him to stay in the amateurs, because he's only 18, and try to win a gold medal in 2012," Arum said. "I had him convinced and then he went downstairs with his father and [trainer] Pat Barry, and then he came back up and said, no, he wants to go pro."
So Arum signed the Las Vegas featherweight to a multi-year professional contract, finalizing the deal on Tuesday.
Magdaleno will make his professional debut in his hometown at MGM Grand on Nov. 6 on the undercard of featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez's defense against Rafael Marquez.
Magdaleno, who fought at 119 pounds through most of his amateur career, went 120-16 and won six major titles, including the U.S. Nationals and National Golden Gloves in 2009. He missed much of this year recuperating from a broken left foot.
"In Jesse we look for an extraordinarily talented young man who will carry the banner of his hometown both in arenas in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the boxing world," Arum said.
Arum said although Magdaleno had a chance to win an Olympic medal, he decided to go pro "because none of these kids have any faith in the way that U.S. amateur boxing is going. Even if they make it to the Olympics, they'll get robbed by the judging. He felt it wasn't worth it. So he wanted to start his pro career as soon as possible."
Said Bruce Trampler, Top Rank's chief matchmaker, "Jesse is 18 and has a chance to be a special fighter in years to come. Right now, he's one of America's best amateurs, and we believe he can become one of our best professionals."
Top Rank also promotes junior lightweight prospect Diego Magdaleno (16-0, 4 KOs), Jesse's 23-year-old brother who will also fight on the Nov. 6 card against Derrick Campos in an eight-round bout.
"I always liked the way Top Rank handled and cared for my older brother, Diego, which is one of reasons I signed with Top Rank," Magdaleno said. "It is a big company with a lot of history. I am very excited to be fighting for Top Rank and to be making my professional debut on the same card as my brother. I can't wait for November 6."
Magdaleno is trained by Barry and Augie Sanchez, Barry's son-in-law and the former featherweight title challenger.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.
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