WBO Africa featherweight champion Jeremiah Nakathila wants sterner opposition after dismantling South African Prince Dlomo in Cape Town last month.
The Namibian (17-1, 13 KOs) systematically beat down Dlomo, who failed to meet the weight and diminished the showdown to a non-title bout, until the referee had no other choice but to stop the carnage in round nine. Dlomo (10-8-1, 4 KOs) hit the canvas twice in the sixth and two more times in the ninth prior to the stoppage of a scheduled 12-rounder as a co-feature in a card promoted by Kalakoda Promotions.
After completing a perfect year with three knockout wins in as many bouts, Nakathila is now turning his focus towards the highest-rated contenders at super featherweight. The Namibian is currently ranked number 5 by the WBO at 130 pounds, two spots south to where he used to stay on the November ratings of the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning organisation.
The current champion of the World Boxing Organisation at super featherweight is Japanese Masayuki Ito, who made his first title defence in a one-sided beating of mandatory challenger Evgeny Chuprakov on 30 December.
Former champ Francisco Vargas follows the Russian Chuprakov at number 2, while unbeaten prospects Ryan Garcia and Lamont Roach Jr sit at number 3 and 4, respectively.
“I always hear people talking about big names simply because these fighters hail from the USA. We can’t all be from the USA, and all I know is that Nakathila will knock out anybody in the top five, and that is why they will never accept a fight against him,” said Nakathila’s promoter, Nestor Tobias to BoxingScene.com.
“Garcia and Roach Jr might be talented fighters, but they have no advantage over Nakathila, who is a genuine world-class talent. If we need to prove that to the WBO, it’s simple. Let’s do an eliminator against any of those fighters so that we can give Nakathila a fair shake and justify his position in the ratings,” Tobias continued.
“There is so much hype about Garcia, and what a good prospect he is. But if you want to hand him his first loss, then put him in against Nakathila. The world will say he fought well and lost against a better fighter.”
The Namibian contender, whose sole defeat was to Chuprakov in Moscow by a disputed majority decision in 2016, shares the opinion of his promoter regarding the outcome of a potential bout against the unbeaten Californian.
“Garcia is being decorated so much as the next star in boxing, thanks to the media. I would like to fight him and humble him and his hype man,” Nakathila told BoxingScene.com.
Nakathila’s camp also sounded out Francisco Vargas, who is a former WBC world champion at 130 pounds.
“It’s simple, Nakathila will win the fight against Vargas or anybody else. This boy is talented, and definitely our next star. I can’t wait to show him off to the world of boxing. It’s his time now,” enthused Tobias.
Most boxing fans would label Nakathila as an untested fighter who has fought lukewarm opposition to build himself up on the ranks. To this writer’s question regarding his readiness against the top fighters in his division, the Namibian had a direct answer.
“Oh, of course, I am ready. I was born to become a world champion in this division,” reflected the confident pugilist.
“Fighting the current champion [Mayasuki Ito] would obviously be the first choice because you have something much bigger to fight for. Every fight is a risk in boxing, and you want to fight for the best price. This is my time to shine, and nobody can stop that.”
– Adapted from boxingscene.com