Raymond Muratalla hasn’t exactly been keeping a close watch on Tevin Farmer’s comeback. Nor does he believe he’ll be facing the same Farmer who won a world title back in 2018.

For Muratalla, fighting Farmer is just another obstacle in the way of his ultimate goal of capturing a world title. The undefeated lightweight contender will take a major step toward that if he’s able to defeat former world titleholder Farmer when they clash Saturday at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The bout will serve as the co-feature on the ESPN card headlined by Zhanibek Alimkhanuly's defense of his IBF and WBO middleweight titles against Andrei Mikhailovich.

The 27-year-old Muratalla (20-0, 16 KOs), rated No. 2 by both the WBC and the WBO, plans to steal the show. 

“I think it is going to be a great fight in the first couple of rounds, but I see him winding up in the later rounds,” Muratalla told BoxingScene.com. “I’ll take over and take control of the fight and possibly stop him. It could be a knockout, even though I don’t go in looking for that. But I’ve got the power for it.”

Muratalla has stopped four of his past five opponents, including hard-hitting Namibian Jeremiah Nakathila in an impressive second-round TKO in May 2023. Philadelphia’s Farmer, however, represents a significant step up in class. A tricky southpaw, Farmer made four defenses of his IBF junior lightweight title before losing it via decision to Joseph Diaz in January 2020.

Farmer (33-5-1, 8 KOs) didn’t fight again until June 2023, when he outpointed Avery Sparrow over 10 rounds. He has won two more bouts since, including a wide decision over Xolisani Ndongeni in March. Even in light of Farmer’s resurgence, Muratalla is confident in his own abilities and preparation.

“I haven’t seen his last three fights, to be honest, but I know how he fights,” Muratalla said. “I’m on a different level right now and focused on getting straight to the top, which I believe he is not ready for at the moment.”

Muratalla, who is trained by Robert Garcia, says this camp has been tailored to help him prepare for Farmer’s lefty style.

“At Robert’s gym, we’ve got all manner of styles, and for this camp that is all I have been working at,” said Muratalla. “I think I am fully prepared because this camp has gone well. All the guys that I have been fighting are southpaws, in preparation for Farmer’s fight. I’ve got, like, three to four southpaws in the gym.”

Muratalla believes the 33-year-old Farmer has seen better days – and is making a potential career-ending mistake by facing him.

“It is going to be a great night for me and the fans,” Muratalla said. “I know he is not the same fighter that he used to be, and coming back to face an opponent like me is not going to be good for him. We have been focusing on a style like this, and I think we are ready for this. There is nothing that I haven’t seen.”

Bernard Neequaye is a sports journalist with a specialty in boxing coverage. He wrote a boxing column titled “From The Ringside” back in his native Ghana for years. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter) at @BernardNeequaye, LinkedIn at Bernard Neequaye and through email at bernardneequaye@gmail.com.