Jeremiah Nakathila’s height advantage over Shakur Stevenson was obvious as they stood face-to-face Friday after they made weight.
Namibia’s Nakathila stands approximately three inches taller than the 5-foot-7 Stevenson. He also believes he is a bigger puncher than Stevenson and will knock out the former WBO featherweight champion in their 12-round, 130-pound championship match Saturday night.
“I’m going to f--- you up,” Nakathila repeatedly told Stevenson at their weigh-in.
Stevenson is still listed by most Internet sports books as at least a 50-1 favorite to win their fight for the WBO interim junior lightweight title.
Stevenson, 23, stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at 129.6 pounds Friday. Nakathila, 31, officially weighed 129.4 pounds.
ESPN will televise the bout between Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) and Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) as the main event of a doubleheader from The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (10 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT). The winner will likely box WBO junior lightweight champ Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) in his following fight.
Earlier Friday, Jose Pedraza made weight and Julian Rodriguez came in slightly heavy for the opener of ESPN’s two-bout broadcast, a 10-round junior welterweight fight.
The 32-year-old Pedraza (28-3, 13 KOs), of Cidra, Puerto Rico, officially weighed 139.8 pounds. The 26-year-old Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs), of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, weighed 141.4 pounds.
The contract weight for the Pedraza-Rodriguez fight is 140 pounds. Rodriguez was given one hour to come back to the NSAC’s scale at the contracted weight, but he declined because their teams agreed to a deal for Rodriguez to pay Pedraza out of his purse for missing weight.
The official weights for the seven fights ESPN+ will stream as part of the Stevenson-Nakathila undercard are listed below. ESPN+ is scheduled to start its undercard coverage at 6:30 p.m. EDT/3:30 p.m. PDT.
Tyler McCreary (16-1-1, 7 KOs), Toledo, Ohio, 131.6 pounds vs. Manuel Rojas (20-5, 6 KOs), Dallas, 131.6 pounds, 8 rounds, lightweights.
John Bauza (14-0, 5 KOs), North Bergen, New Jersey, 140 pounds vs. Christon Edwards (12-2, 6 KOs), Houston, 140.4 pounds, 8 rounds, junior welterweights.
Xander Zayas (8-0, 6 KOs), Sunrise, Florida, 147.4 pounds vs. Larry Fryers (11-3, 4 KOs), Yonkers, New York, 144.6 pounds, 6 rounds, welterweights.
Bryan Lua (7-0, 3 KOs), Madera, California, 131.4 pounds vs. Frevian Gonzalez (4-0, 1 KO), Cidra, Puerto Rico, 131.8 pounds, 6 rounds, lightweights.
Troy Isley (1-0, 0 KOs), Alexandria, Virginia, 156.8 pounds vs. LaQuan Evans (4-1, 2 KOs), Philadelphia, 156 pounds, 4 rounds, middleweights.
Kasir Goldston (2-0, 1 KO), Albany, New York, 142 pounds vs. Maurice Anthony (3-1, 3 KOs), Ypsilanti, Michigan, 142 pounds, 4 rounds, welterweights.
Jahi Tucker (3-0, 2 KOs), Deer Park, New York, 146 pounds vs. Ysrael Barboza (3-1-1, 3 KOs), Corpus Christi, Texas, 146.4 pounds, 4 rounds, welterweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.