LAS VEGAS – Raymond Muratalla pushed his promoter, Top Rank Inc., to secure this fight against Jeremia Nakathila.

Namibia’s Nakathila dismantled former 130-pound champion Miguel Berchelt in his last fight, which has made it difficult for the hard-hitting contender to get another opportunity in the United States. Muratalla considers Nakathila just the type of opponent he needs to beat to be taken seriously as the undefeated prospect attempts to legitimize himself as a 135-pound contender.

The 10-round bout between Muratalla (17-0, 14 KOs), of Fontana, California, and Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) will open ESPN Pay-Per-View’s three-bout broadcast Saturday night on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“I think this is a perfect fight for me, just from a step-up point,” Muratalla told “All these guys are not willing to fight [Nakathila]. I want this fight. I think this is the fight that’s gonna put me on top and show that I’m ready for the next level.”

The 26-year-old Muratalla fought just about seven weeks ago, when he got up from a first-round knockdown, dropped Mexico’s Humberto Galindo twice and won by ninth-round knockout. Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs) went down from body shots in both the fourth and ninth rounds March 25 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.

Despite suffering a knockdown and going eight-plus rounds, Muratalla didn’t hesitate to face Nakathila less than two months later.

“I work hard for this,” Muratalla said. “I want this. So, I’m not scared of anybody. I’m not ducking anybody. This is what I want. This is what I train for, so I don’t see why people passed it up.”

Nakathila, 33, has been busier being a police officer in Namibia’s capital city of Windhoek than fighting over the past year. He hasn’t fought since he battered Berchelt into submission after the sixth round of their March 2022 bout at Resorts World Las Vegas.

“It was a really good performance,” Muratalla said. “He did what he had to do. Berchelt, he didn’t look like himself from the beginning. But, I mean, Nakathila did what he was supposed to do. He got the win. He got the stoppage.”

Mexico’s Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) lost by knockout or technical knockout in a second straight fight and hasn’t boxed since Nakathila beat him. Muratalla, meanwhile, hopes a victory over Nakathila inches him closer to a title shot in the 135-pound division.

“That’s the goal for me,” Muratalla said. “I’ve gotta win these fights so that I can get closer and closer to a title shot. That’s what my mindset is, just focus on getting a shot. I’m just really focusing on putting in the work because I know one day the opportunity’s gonna come, and I’m gonna have to shine.”

Muratalla is listed by most sportsbooks as a 2-1 favorite versus Nakathila.

Their fight will open ESPN Pay-Per-View’s telecast at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT). This three-fight show costs $59.99 whether it is purchased through ESPN+, the network’s streaming service, or via various cable and satellite companies.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.