Top boxing promoter Nestor Tobias expressed his dissatisfaction yesterday with the referee’s “premature decision” to stop the fight, ultimately granting Raymond Muratalla a victory over Jeremiah Nakathila on Sunday morning.
The highly-anticipated match between Muratalla (18-0) and Nakathila (23-3) took place as an undercard to the fight between Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, the bout ended abruptly in the second round, with Muratalla emerging victorious through a technical knockout.
Muratalla (18-0, 15 KOs) rocked Nakathila with a right hand when there were just over 20 seconds to go in the second round. Nakathila moved backward, but Muratalla swarmed him, unloaded a barrage of power punches and referee Robert Hoyle stepped between them because he thought Nakathila was too hurt to continue.
Reflecting on the match, Tobias voiced his disappointment, believing that the referee made an incorrect call. He emphasised the inherent risks of leaving the outcome in the hands of judges.
“We prepared extensively but things didn’t go our way. Nakathila was hit by solid punches that landed cleanly. Such situations often arise when fighting abroad and relying on the judgments of others,” Tobias shared.
“However, I still maintain that the referee should have made the right call. The decision to stop the fight was premature because Nakathila was still standing. He should have been given a chance to continue,” Tobias added.
Looking ahead, Tobias outlined their plan to regroup and address areas that require improvement. “We will go back to the drawing board and make the necessary corrections. It’s time to return to the gym, analyse our shortcomings, and move forward. Nakathila is a family man, and after this, he will reunite with his loved ones. Overall, it was a great fight, and we made our country proud,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Nakathila expressed his pride in the fight and his determination to come back stronger. He congratulated Muratalla on his victory and extended gratitude to Top Rank for the opportunity to compete in Vegas for the third time. Nakathila acknowledged that he was caught with a few punches but believed he was not in any significant danger, leading to his disappointment with the referee’s premature intervention.
“Although I am saddened and disappointed by the referee’s decision, I consider it water under the bridge. I trained diligently for this fight, and while I faced some challenges, taking punches is part of the sport. I firmly believe I was not at risk, but that’s how it goes,” Nakathila remarked.