Robert Garcia has been in the sport of boxing long enough to know when he has a special fighter on his roster. Raymond Muratalla, a 26-year-old lightweight contender, seemingly fits the mold.
Unblemished, yet untested, the latter has been officially scrubbed. This past weekend, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Muratalla found himself in the biggest bout of his young career against Jeremia Nakathila.
According to oddsmakers, the up-and-coming contender may have been viewed as the favorite, but many were expecting the veteran mainstay to test his mettle. Roughly four and a half minutes of work later, however, and Muratalla proved that he was simply on another level.
Following his second-round beating of Nakathila, Garcia shook his head in approval. While he’s well aware that Muratalla (18-0, 15 KOs) still has work to do, when it comes to showing that he belongs on the elite level, Garcia is convinced that his fighter has already shown that he's one of the best lightweights around.
“He's the real deal,” said Garcia to ESNEWS. “He proved it.”
Ultimately, Muratalla’s victory came across as somewhat of a warning sign. In the main event slot on the night, both Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko waged an all-out war, resulting in Haney escaping their clash with his undisputed titles intact.
Now, the 24-year-old will sit back and ponder his next move. Regardless of his decision, Garcia doesn't expect his phone to ring with a fight offer. In the end, while he did refrain from saying that Haney is unnerved, Garcia did acknowledge that his fighter is a simple case of high risk, low reward.
“Devin Haney won’t fight him because it’s too risky,” continued Garcia. “It wouldn’t be a huge fight where you can make millions of pay-per-views. Haney won’t fight Raymond. He just won’t but we’ll take the fight in a heartbeat.”
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