Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |


Raymond Muratalla: I’m trying to show people I’m the next lightweight champ

Raymond Muratalla. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Raymond Muratalla beat Ryan Garcia a handful of times in the amateur ranks. As a prospect, Muratalla has been used for sparring for many world titleholders and contenders. 

Now that he is fighting on bigger stages, Muratalla wants to seize the spotlight and not let go.

Muratalla will take a significant step up in opposition Saturday night, facing Jeremia Nakathila at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 10-round bout will open the ESPN Pay-Per-View telecast (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT), which will be headlined by the anticipated clash between Ring Magazine and undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney and former world unified titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko.

The 26-year-old Muratalla (17-0, 14 knockouts), who resides in Fontana, California, has been very active as of late. Saturday will mark his fifth fight in less than a 13-month span. 

In his last bout on March 25, Muratalla overcame a knockdown in round one to break down Humberto Galindo, dropping him twice before the fight was stopped in round nine. Despite being knocked down, Muratalla never broke away from his game plan of mixing his attack well in outboxing Galindo.

Muratalla attributes the knockdown in the opening round to not being warmed up the way he wanted to.

“I didn’t warm up like I usually do in my last fight,” said Muratalla at Wednesday’s press conference. “So I got knocked down (in the first round). But I got back up, and I got the stoppage (victory).”

Muratalla is trained by Robert Garcia, who has trained a multitude of world titleholders and contenders, including WBA world junior flyweight titleholder Joshua Franco, newly-crowned WBO world flyweight titleholder Jesse Rodriguez, former world unified junior welterweight titleholder Jose Ramirez, amongst others.

Garcia has told The Ring in previous interviews Muratalla is one of the more-talented and hard-working fighters he has trained and has not hit his ceiling yet as a prizefighter. Muratalla has gained valuable ring acumen and knowledge in his time with Garcia. 

In recent interviews, Garcia has stated Muratalla is already amongst the best fighters at 135 pounds and he may be about a fight or two away from challenging the upper echelon of lightweights. That is high praise, considering the fighters Garcia faced as a fighter and who he has trained for the last several years.

Muratalla remains humble and understands the business of boxing. He hopes to make a statement Saturday at the expense of Nakathila and move on to face the best at 135 pounds.

“I’m ready,” said Muratalla. “I’m ready for anyone. To be the best, you have to go through these people. I’m just trying to get to the top.”

Muratalla believes he has the skill-set and the ring savvy to become a world titleholder in a very competitive division.

“I’m just ready to be a champ. This is nothing but hard work that we’ve been putting in. I can’t wait for Saturday. I’m trying to show people that I’m the next 135-pound champion.

“I’m going to take care of business this Saturday.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 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 at [email protected]