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Top Rank releases five fighters

Lightweight Diego Magdaleno is a free agent after Top Rank decided to end his promotional contract. AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Top Rank, which has promotional contracts with more than 50 fighters, has thinned its stable with the recent release of five of them.

Those who are now free to sign with any promoter are lightweight Diego Magdaleno (28-2, 12 KOs), featherweight Chris Avalos (26-4, 19 KOs), lightweight Ivan Najera (16-2, 8 KOs), lightweight Gamalier Rodriguez (25-4-3, 17 KOs) and junior featherweight Vic Pasillas (11-0, 4 KOs).

Magdaleno, the highest profile fighter of those released, fought for junior lightweight and lightweight world titles. In his last fight, easily the worst performance of his career, lightweight titlist Terry Flanagan knocked him out in the second round in October. Magdaelno’s younger brother, featherweight Jessie Magdaleno, is still under contract to the company.

Avalos, who has lost two of his last three fights, is also a former world title challenger. Last February, he got stopped in the fifth round by junior featherweight titleholder Carl Frampton. In his last fight, Avalos was also stopped in Round 5, this time by featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez.

Puerto Rico’s Rodriguez also lost his last two fights, including last May, when he challenged featherweight world titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko and got knocked out in the ninth round.

Najera also lost his two most-recent fights, a one-sided decision to 2015 ESPN.com prospect of the year Felix Verdejo in June and a first-round knockout to Saul Rodriguez in November.

“You get to a certain point with certain careers and you feel you can’t do much more with them and that you can’t take their careers any further,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN.com. “That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t use these guys again, but now they have the opportunity to go some place else and see what they can do.

“They are strictly business decisions. No hard feelings. We wish them all absolute success in the future wherever they may be and if we can offer them fights in the future we will.”