Raymond Muratalla doesn’t want to wait any longer to test himself against a legitimate lightweight contender.

Muratalla mentioned Jeremia Nakathila as the opponent he hopes to fight next after the 135-pound prospect stopped Miguel Contreras in the sixth round last Saturday in Las Vegas. Muratalla is 16-0, including 13 knockouts, but the 25-year-old boxer has yet to be scheduled for a 10-round fight.

The Fontana, California native hopes Nakathila accepts his challenge, so that he can prove what his trainer, Robert Garcia, has long said about Muratalla’s capabilities.

“Nakathila. Nakathila. I feel like he’s the right opponent,” Muratalla told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel in the ring. “He’s gonna push me up to that next level, man. And then from there we’ll try to get Devin Haney. Any of those top 10 guys, man, I’m ready for all of them.”

Muratalla has displayed talent, but he has been moved moderately since he turned pro in September 2016. Namibia’s Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) lost a one-sided, 12-round unanimous decision to two-division champion Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) three fights ago, but the heavy-handed veteran dropped former WBC super featherweight champ Miguel Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) three times in his last bout and won by technical knockout after the sixth round March 26 at Resorts World Las Vegas.

If not Nakathila, Muratalla will accept whichever lightweight contender matchmakers for Top Rank Inc. think he is ready to fight.

“I don’t know what they put me as, but I wanna be next,” Muratalla said. “I think I’m ready for the next top guys. Whoever’s top 10, whoever they are, I think I’m up next, man, and I’m ready for them.”

Garcia has preached patience while moving Muratalla, but his respected trainer also believes the time is right for him to take a step up in competition.

“Well, you know what? It’s a process,” Garcia said. “And it’s a matter of the right opponent, the right time and, you know, now he showed that he’s ready for any of the top 10 guys.”

Muratalla picked apart Contreras until referee Mike Ortega determined Contreras had taken too much punishment late in the sixth round at Palms Casino Resort’s Pearl Concert Theater. Ortega stepped between them to halt the action at 2:23 of the sixth round on the Janibek Alimkhanuly-Denzel Bentley undercard.

The 24-year-old Contreras (12-2-1, 6 KOs), of Bakersfield, California, had only lost to Starling Castillo before Muratalla defeated him. The Dominican Republic’s Castillo (17-1-1, 13 KOs) knocked out Contreras in the second round of their July 2021 bout at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

“I think the statement that I made is that I’m here,” Muratalla said, “and I’m ready to take over.”

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