Emmanuel Lucero (26-7-1, 14 KOs) should be considered a “Gate keeper” Friday night for the main event bout with undefeated Diego Magdaleno (20-0, 7 KOs) on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. A gate keeper is a fighter that holds the keys to whether or not another fighter that is coming up through the ranks is going to ascend to the next level. Diego Magdaleno is undefeated, but he has not fought any real noteworthy competition. Emannuel Lucero fought Manny Pacquiao for the Junior Featherweight Championship back in 2003, when Lucero was an undefeated fighter. The name Manny Pacquiao alone stimulates talk worldwide, so Lucero has assuredly been in there and tested the best of the best. This marks the stiffest test of Magdaleno’s thus far perfect professional career and for Lucero, this is an opportunity to climb back into the picture. For each man could win in spectacular fashion, a victory can hold even more significance for both. If Magdaleno is successful, it would take his career one step closer from prospect to contender, and contender then transitions to Champion. Since losing to Pacquiao, and relinquishing his unblemished record in 2003, Lucero has lost six of his last eleven fights. One has to wonder if he is the same fighter he was in 2003, let alone a few years ago, as four of those victories were by stoppage. Magdaleno, 25, from Las Vegas, Nevada, has hardly lost a round in his twenty professional fights, Lucero will be the most decorated fighter’s he’s faced in the professional ranks thus far. Neither fighter makes for a bad fight, and although both are technically and fundamentally good fighters, they are not fighters that are constantly moving off the back foot. This should be an interesting bout to see what Magdaleno’s ceiling as a prize fighter can be, and to see if Lucero has anything left in the tank. The fans on hand at the Mandalay Bay will more than likely get their money’s worth as well.
Looking at both combatants, the first red flag that comes up is the question of Lucero being “Shot”. A fighter that has nothing in the tank anymore, dead legs, no steam on the punches, and can not take anymore punishment. With Lucero suffering five stoppages in his career,since challenging for a World Championship, it is a thought that holds weight since Lucero is only human. This is what happens in boxing, or what is planned. One fighter had his shot, fought for the Title, or got the main event billing on the big stage, but he is not that same fighter anymore. While the other fighter is clamoring to become the boxer annually on the main event marquee. Magdaleno is certainly the latter fighter, aspiring to become a World Champion in the near future, as he currently holds a regional title, the NABF Super Featherweight Championship. A title that suggests a fighter is close to fighting for a World Championship. Magdaleno is expected to win the fight, and he will. He is too fresh for Lucero, to put it shortly. Magdaleno will make Lucero look like an older fighter, because he is one at 33, and not just in years but in ring years as well. Magdaleno is a fighter with good hand speed, good fundamentals, always keeping his hands held high, and can move coming forwards or backwards. One critique that would stand out for Magdaleno by glancing at his record would be his punch, scoring only seven knockouts in twenty bouts. However, Magdaleno has knocked out four of his last five opponents, all five being among the best fighters he has fought. It is possible his punching power is building, he is learning when to sit on his shots better, or simply growing stronger as a young man. The question is can Magdaleno stop Lucero? Even though it would be eight years removed, and that does count for a great sum. If Magdaleno could repeat a feat done by Manny Pacquiao, it would definitely give him a positive reflection on his dossier. It is a very good possibility as well, because Magdaleno has been stopping his foes as of late, and Lucero has been stopped. Magdaleno must be weary of Lucero’s experience, if he were to get caught with something he did not see coming or underestimate Lucero than Magdaleno will pay the price. History repeats itself, fighters that were supposed to come up through the ranks unblemished and become World Champions were stalled when it wasn’t expected. Ask James Kirkland, who learned that lesson earlier this year before scoring his sensational, Fight of the Year candidate knockout of Alfredo Angulo this past Saturday. When ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is over, Diego Magdaleno will still be undefeated, by battering Lucero with an accumulation of punches, which is Magdaleno’s signature, a work man like high work rate. Lucero will not be able to sustain Magdaleno’s punches continuously, and Magdaleno should be able to continue his trend of scoring stoppages.
Diego Magdaleno via late round Technical Knockout.