Tim Bradley is high on the talent of the unbeaten lightweight contender Raymond Muratalla (19-0, 16 KOs), saying he’s the “most dangerous” fighter in the lightweight division and picking him to beat Devin Haney & Keyshawn Davis after his eighth round knockout last Saturday night over Diego Torres (18-1, 17 KOs) at the Tahoe Blue Event Center, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Bradley says Muratalla is ready for a title shot now, and he’d like to see him challenge Haney for his three remaining belts or Shakur Stevenson if he captures the vacant WCB 135-lb title in his fight against Edwin De Los Santos on November 16th.
Muratalla, 26, had his coming out party last Saturday night with his impressive win over the previously unbeaten Torres. He knocked Torres down in the eighth round, and the referee Celestino Ruiz stopped the contest moments later after he’d gotten back up.
Muratalla connected on 128 of 301 punches for a connect percentage of 43. Diego Torres landed 51 of 292 for a 17% connect rate.
It would be impressive to see Muratalla take over from Haney as one of the biggest stars in the lightweight division. There’s nothing wrong with Shakur Stevenson, but he doesn’t have a fan-friendly fighting style like Muratalla to where you can turn him into a superstar.
Gervonta Davis doesn’t really count because he doesn’t fight quality opposition, and his career is based on taking weak opposition for sure thing wins. Muratalla looks like the real deal, and he wants to fight the best.
Bernardo Osuna: “Raymond Muratalla was not only a master of the range, but connecting with his right hand and neutralizing the best weapon that Diego Torres had coming in with his left hook,” said Osuna to ESPN+.
“He was unable to be efficient with that because Raymond Muratalla wore him down from the first round until the stoppage in the eighth. It was a completely dominant victory for Raymond Muratalla, who now improves to 19-0 with 16 of his victories by stoppage.”
Tim Bradley: “He’s the most dangerous 135-pounder right now in the world right now, right next to Shakur Stevenson. He goes about his business differently. You know Shakur Stevenson, a southpaw, a great technician, and great defense.
“Muratalla, you saw great defense tonight. You saw a completely dominant performance from him against a good-quality opponent who came in undefeated, and he made it look easy. When you make things look easy like that. It shows what level your on.
“We always say there are levels to this game. He fought an undefeated guy that came in full of confidence, and he took his confidence away from the opening bell.
“He walked him down and did exactly what he wanted to do. He took his best punch away from him, which is his left hook, and was able to stop him. What more can you ask for? Moving forward, this is a kid that deserves a title shot, he really does.
“We don’t know what Haney is going to do after he fights against Regis Prograis, but I can tell you this and assure you this, but if he were to fight Devin Haney, I would put my money on Muratalla.”
Mark Kriegel: “He [Muratalla] finally said Devin Haney because Devin Haney has three of the belts. It’s not his style to call people out.
“It’s a terrible thing to think that works to his detriment. What I saw in there tonight was a disparity in strength, the disparity in presence, but if you think about what Torres came in as, a guy undefeated in 18 fights with 18 knockouts, there was nothing he could do.
“Muratalla was patient, he was precise, but I was really impressed by how strong he was. He imposed his will in every single way. If it comes down to it, I wouldn’t mind seeing him against Shakur after the De Los Santos fight. Yes, I am predicting that Shakur wins.
“Nothing against De Los Santos, but I think that would be a perfectly respectable fight. Based on his experience level and what we’ve seen tonight, he’s naturally bigger than Shakur. Shakur, at this point, is a big lightweight himself. I agree; I’d put him in with anybody.”
Osuna: “It’s anecdotal, but the talk from Robert Garcia’s gym is that people come in here after sparring Tank Davis, after sparring Shakur Stevenson and going rounds with them, and they can’t go six rounds with Raymond Muratalla.
“We’ll see what happens when he gets on that grand stage, but that grand stage is set for November 16th. It’ll be Formula 1 weekend with Shakur Stevenson taking on Edwin De Los Santos for the [WBC lightweight] belt that became vacant once Devin Haney decided he wanted to move up to 140 lbs to take on Regis Prograis.
“So, Tim, your thoughts on what we should expect from Shakur Stevenson and the power-punching southpaw Edwin De Los Santos.”
Bradley: “It’s interesting because Shakur has a better lead hand that De Los Santos. The punch of choice that De Los Santos should focus on is actually the jab. You have to offset a fighter that likes to control distance like Shakur does, and for some apparent reason, I think Shakur might step on the gas.
“I don’t see [him fighting defensively]. In his last couple of fights, he’s actually been staying in the pocket a little bit more. That can be a little dangerous fighting against a power puncher like De Los Santos because he strikes like a cobra; he really does.
“When you put pressure on him, he lets his hands go. He’s very reactive and very responsive when you put pressure on him. It’s going to be a great fight. Shakur Stevenson, again, he’s a wizard in the ring. He can change a game plan like that without being told.
“I think he wins the fight, but I’m really curious to see if something does land what’s going to happen.”
Kriegel: “I know it doesn’t quite work like this, but we saw a guy tonight in Foster who beat De Los Santos. He lost to Henry Lebron tonight. It was a really hell of a performance by Henry Lebron. I see nothing but a dominant performance from Shakur Stevenson.”