Unbeaten Raymond Muratalla could be a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division.

Muratalla continues his path toward contender status as he faces a stern test tonight, facing once-beaten Miguel Contreras. The eight-round bout will take place on the Top Rank undercard at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada (7:15 p.m. ET/ 4:15 p.m. PT).

The 25-year-old Muratalla (15-0, 12 KOs), who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, last fought on July 15, defeating Jair Valtierra by unanimous decision. In his previous fight on April 30, Muratalla knocked out former unbeaten prospect Jeremy Hill in the third round.

Saturday could be a difficult task when he steps in against Contreras (12-1-1, 6 KOs), who has faced tough opposition as of late. Contreras was knocked out by then-unbeaten Starling Castillo on July 9 of last year and fought to a split-decision draw against Hector Tanajara, Jr. on March 4.

Muratalla is trained by Robert Garcia, who believes Muratalla can have a breakthrough performance tonight.

“Raymond is special,” Garcia told BoxingScene Friday morning. “I know it’s not the right time yet because he (is) still fighting eight rounds, but next year, when he starts fighting 10 rounds, we hope Top Rank puts him up against any of the top lightweights so the world can see how talented this kid is.”

Muratalla is co-trained by his father and Garcia. Muratalla is managed by Garcia.

Garcia has been in the corner of Muratalla since 2019. Garcia’s gym is located in Riverside, not far from Muratalla’s hometown. Muratalla has sparred world titleholders, contenders and unbeaten prospects, which has sharpened his skill-set.

A win over Contreras could put Muratalla in a position where he would fight on bigger platforms and against top fighters, which Garcia says Muratalla is ready for.

“Next year will be the year he shows the world what he can do.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing