LAS VEGAS – Jeremia Nakathila thinks Raymond Muratalla and his team made what will turn out to be the costliest matchmaking mistake of the lightweight prospect’s career.

The 26-year-old Muratalla pushed to fight Namibia’s Nakathila, who demolished Mexico’s Miguel Berchelt in his last fight. From what Nakathila witnessed in Muratalla’s most recent bout, the undefeated Fontana, California native isn’t prepared for this step up in competition Saturday night on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Mexican veteran Humberto Galindo dropped Muratalla with a right hand late in the first round of their March 25 fight at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Muratalla (17-0, 14 KOs) got up from that knockdown, sent Galindo to the canvas with a left hook to the body in the fourth round and knocked out Galindo with another left hook to the body in the ninth round on the Jose Ramirez-Richard Commey undercard.

“I feel like the last fight exposed him,” Nakathila told “If he can’t handle that level of opponent, if he goes down against him, how is he going to handle me? I’m a bigger puncher. If he can’t handle the power from a simple opponent, how can he handle me? … I’m gonna knock this guy out.”

Though unproven against contenders in the 135-pound division, Muratalla is younger and fresher than Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs), who didn’t answer the bell for the seventh round against Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) in March 2022 at Resorts World Las Vegas.

The former WBC super featherweight champion’s lopsided loss to Nakathila came in his first fight in 13 months. Former WBC/WBO 130-pound champ Oscar Valdez battered Berchelt in his previous fight, in which Berchelt was knocked down three times and knocked out in the 10th round.

Muratalla, meanwhile, suffered the second knockdown of his six-year pro career against Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs). Motivated to prove himself against a better opponent, Muratalla agreed to a quick turnaround, seven weeks, for a 10-round fight against Nakathila that will open ESPN Pay-Per-View’s three-bout broadcast (10 p.m. EDT; 7 p.m. PDT; $59.99).

The 33-year-old Nakathila, who is a police officer in Namibia’s capital city of Windhoek, hasn’t fought in the almost 14 months since he beat Berchelt by technical knockout. Nakathila has remained in the gym, though, jumped at this opportunity and intends to stand out on this high-profile undercard.

“Being on this card, this is an exciting card,” Nakathila said. “Everything around this card is big. I’m just looking forward to Saturday and making a statement.”

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