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Raymond Ford Looks to Prove Himself Against Jessie Magdaleno

Raymond Ford Looks to Prove Himself Against Jessie Magdaleno

More than a year ago, Raymond Ford was at a pivotal moment in his career. His hard-fought decision win over Edward Vazquez in their February 2022 battle of unbeaten prospects didn’t exactly resonate with the masses. Some observers even thought that Vazquez deserved the win. However, Ford wasn’t interested in taking a step back in his career development.

Instead, the unbeaten southpaw from Camden, New Jersey, decided to take a step forward. He won more decisive victories over undefeated Richard Medina and featherweight gatekeeper Sakaria Lukas, rounding out a three-win 2023 run. Ford and his team then started seeking even bigger challenges for a 2023 campaign that he hoped would include a shot at his first major title.

The search led Ford to former WBO junior featherweight titlist Jessie Magdaleno, whom he will face in a scheduled twelve-round featherweight contest. The bout is part of a four-fight DAZN show from Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas.

“We were looking at anyone that would represent the toughest, biggest fight of my career,” Ford said of his first bout of this year. “I’m already ranked by the sanctioning bodies. So, yeah, I believe I’m a contender now. But this fight will prove it if anyone doesn’t already believe it.”

Magdaleno’s name was always in the mix, but it was a matter of which established fighter would accept the assignment. The 31-year-old Las Vegas-bred southpaw answered the call, as he seeks to extend his current four-fight win streak. All four wins come after his title reign ended in an eleventh-round knockout to then-unbeaten Isaac Dogboe in April 2018 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia—the same venue which would host Ford’s pro debut eleven months later.

Needless to say, Magdaleno represents by far the most established opponent that Ford will face as a pro.

“I feel like it was a fight that could separate me from the other top prospects, that’s why I wanted it,” insisted Ford, who signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing following a stellar amateur career that included the 2018 National Golden Gloves championship. “We were looking at anyone that would represent the toughest fight of my career.

“So, it was very important to get this fight lined up. I was excited, I was happy when we heard Jesse accepted it. I needed this fight to start my year, so that we can get that title shot for my next fight.”

Headlining the show is local favorite and former WBC junior bantamweight titlist Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez and Mexico’s Cristian Gonzalez, who will vie for the vacant WBO flyweight title.

This marks the third time that Ford will appear in a DAZN-aired supporting bout on a show headlined by Rodriguez. Among the names sought out by the 24-year-old southpaw and his team, which includes manager Brian Peters, were former two-division titlist Kiko Martinez. The Spaniard was strongly considered to land the assignment, but he booked another fight—an IBF title eliminator versus Japan’s Reiya Abe.

Ford, who has a record of 13-0-1 with 7 KOs, is confident that his bout against Magdaleno will prove that he is a legitimate contender. If he is successful, he hopes to secure a title shot in his next fight.


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