American Contender Raymond Ford Closing In On 126 Pound Title Shot
WBA #3 Raymond Ford (13-0, 7 KOs) will face former world champion Jessie Magdaleno (29-1, 18 KOs) on April 8 in San Antonio, Texas live on DAZN.
The 23-year-old unbeaten southpaw will take another step up in competition after a career-best win over Namibia’s Sakaria Lukas last November. Ford impressively dominated Lukas throughout the contest and closed the show with a single right hook, producing a sensational, highlight-reel finish.
Magdaleno dethroned Nonito Donaire to claim the WBO super bantamweight title in 2016. However, he lost the championship in just his second defence via an 11th-round KO at the hands of Isaac Dogboe. Since that fight, Magdaleno has only competed four times in almost five years, below world level.
Ford is quickly heading towards a world title shot due to his #3 ranking with the WBA. The champion, Leigh Wood, is also promoted by Matchroom as is his Feb 18 opponent Mauricio Lara, Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez presenting plenty of viable options under the banner.
Ford vs Magdaleno will serve as an undercard bout to the WBO Flyweight title clash between the young American star Jesse Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) and Mexico’s Cristian Gonzalez (15-1, 5 KOs).
‘Bam’ Rodriguez is the reigning WBC Super Flyweight champion but will move down in an attempt to become a two-weight world champion. Gonzalez’s is the WBO’s highest-ranked contender at 112.
Rodriguez’s promoter Eddie Hearn aims to create an undisputed champion in the division by the end of 2023. Hearn represents WBC champion Julio Cesar Martinez, the IBF titleholder Sunny Edwards has vocalised his interest in unifying the division and Artem Dalakian recently defended his WBA strap in the UK, but maybe the hardest one to work with.
Also on the card, WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KOs) will defend his titles against mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (36-3, 19 KOs) per Uzbek sports journalist Jalol Akhmedov.