Jessie Magdaleno was in line for a title shot against Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO featherweight championship.
Top Rank, who promotes both fighters, claimed a purse bid earlier this month with an offer of $250,000 to make the fight happen.
For Magdaleno (28-1, 18 KOs), the money in the pot proved to be too little, and he pulled his name out of the picture to fight Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs).
“I had to get on to clear up all the false information that the media wanted to post to create a story,” Magdaleno wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “No I did not and will never ghost any opponent ever and I didn’t ghost the WBO. There’s no entertaining story but the real truth is the money wasn’t right for me and that’s it. Once my people and his people can agree on something better than all the fans will get the fight they want and that’s me vs. Navarrete! I want to thank all my fans and team who still support me and that are there for me day in and out love y’all.”
As BoxingScene.com’s Jake Donovan first reported Wednesday, the fight was no longer a 50/50 pay split for the top two contenders because it was deemed the Las Vegas-based Magdaleno had a hometown advantage of fighting in the MGM Grand Bubble. Thus, it became a 60/40 split, leaving Magdaleno with $100,000 before he could even pay for any fight-related expenses.
Jessie Magdaleno made a minimum of $100,000 in his foul-filled fight and disqualification victory over Yenifel Vicente in June in the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas. Certainly, a fight against Navarrete would warrant somewhat of a raise, but it was never in the cards.
Magdaleno’s manager Frank Espinoza told BoxingScene.com on Thursday that Top Rank could have upped the ante from the original $250,000 pot, but eventually, more funds were not funneled into the negotiation.
“Negotiations broke down. We got an offer, looked it over and Jessie was looking to still make a little bit more. It didn’t work out,” said Espinoza. “We have to work through the pandemic and come to a happy medium. Everyone is asked to take pay cuts, but Jessie was not OK with that. It is what it is. We’re just going to have to sit and wait. He understands that by not accepting the terms, we’re now going to have to wait to see what’s next and hear from Top Rank.”
With Magdaleno no longer in the running, the vacant WBO title opportunity was given to Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs), the No. 3 contender in the division.
Villa, who is led by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing, will now have the opportunity to negotiate with Top Rank to get a deal done.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.