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Jeremiah Nakathila makes his long-awaited return against Raymond Muratalla

Photo by Nakale
Fighters Network
16
May

Big-punching Jeremiah Nakathila will end a 14-month spell of inactivity when he faces Raymond Muratalla on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on Saturday.

The hiatus was out of the Namibian’s control. He had hoped a sixth-round stoppage over former junior lightweight titlist Miguel Berchelt would lead to something bigger. But despite calling out everyone and anyone at 135-pounds, Nakathila had to wait for something to come up.



“After our last victory against Miguel everything got difficult as everyone was running scared,” Nakathila (23-2, 19 knockouts) told The Ring. “We kept on working hard in the gym and were always hopeful that something big will come up.

“It’s always difficult to get a big fight when you are coming from this side [of the world] but Top Rank aways kept us in their thoughts. Of course, all boxers want to be busy but it’s about opportunity and we got a great opportunity come the May 20 and we will show the world again my boxing skills.”

While the 33-year-old wanted one of the big names at lightweight, he has some choice words for the top names in the division.

“The so-called big names at 135 are cowards,” he said pulling no punches. “They keep on running scared but there is nowhere to hide anymore as we just arrived to the end of the road. Let’s get it on.”

Ultimately, Nakathila had to settle for one of the rising stars of the division instead.

“It’s a great challenge for me and my team as every fight at that level is tough but I will go for a win,” said the southwestern African. “He is a good prospect but this fight come too soon for him.

“We picked up few things from his previous fight but for now we keep it for ourselves.”

Nakathila’s handler Nestor Tobias has also been frustrated that his client wasn’t able to secure one of the biggest names in the talent laden division but welcomes the opportunity to appear on the star-studded event.

“All the top fighters at 135 were offered to fight my kid by Top Rank but all rejected the offer,” revealed Tobias. “We understand that after the Miguel victory no one would like the smoke.

“We are just happy that we got another offer to show the world that we deserved to be part of this great card and the biggest fight of the year. Every athlete would love to be part of this card and we would like to thank Bob [Arum] and his team to have trust in our ability. This is the biggest boxing show of the year promoted by the biggest and by far the most successful promoter of all time. I feel honor to be part of this show.

“We will go in there and display our boxing ability as our dream is to fight for the world title, hopefully we will get opportunity to fight the winner of the main bout of the May 20.”

Muratalla (17-0, 14 KOs) turned professional in September 2016. After winning his first three fights in Mexico, the California native moved through the ranks. He holds wins over Jeremy Hill (KO 3), Jair Valtierra (UD 8) and, most recently, Humberto Galindo (KO 9). This is a marked step up for Muratalla but one he feels ready for.

This fight looks evenly poised and the opportunity to appear on such a big event will showcase the winner and allow them to be more well known. Both men have power and this is a fight that could end inside the distance.

Haney vs. Lomachenko, plus supporting undercard, will be broadcast on ESPN+ PPV beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The PPV will be priced at $59.99.

MORE ON RINGTV

Nakatani-Moloney matchup leads a star-studded undercard for Haney-Lomachenko on May 20 – The Ring (ringtv.com)

Jeremiah Nakathila is ready and waiting for opportunity – The Ring (ringtv.com)

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].

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