Raymond Muratalla has agreed to a quick turnaround for the biggest opportunity of his career.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the talented 26-year-old lightweight prospect will meet Namibian power puncher Jeremia Nakathila on May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 10-round, 135-pound bout between Muratalla (17-0, 14 KOs) and Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) will open a three-fight ESPN Pay-Per-View telecast that’ll feature undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney and former three-division champ Vasiliy Lomachenko in the main event.
Muratalla, of Fontana, California, got up from a first-round knockdown Saturday night and knocked out Mexico’s Humberto Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs) in the ninth round of their 10-rounder at Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California. Muratalla sent Galindo to the canvas with body shots in the fourth and ninth rounds and secured his place on the high-profile Haney-Lomachenko card.
His victory over Galindo was the first fight of Muratalla’s six-year pro career that was scheduled for 10 rounds.
In Nakathila, Muratalla will encounter a dangerous contender who beat up and stopped former WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt in his last fight. The 3*-year-old Nakathila, whose only loss in the past six years came against Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), hasn’t fought since he dominated Mexico’s Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) for six rounds last March 26 at Resorts World Las Vegas.
Nakathila’s defeat of Berchelt marked his debut at the lightweight limit of 135 pounds.
In the pay-per-view bout before Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), of Henderson, Nevada, and Ukraine’s Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) fight for Haney’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 135-pound championships, former featherweight and junior lightweight champ Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs), of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, will face Adam Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of Glendale, California, in a 10-round, 130-pound rematch. Valdez got up from a second-round knockdown to drop and stop Lopez in the seventh round of their November 2019 fight at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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