Haney vs Lomachenko: Undercard Info For Tonight

05/20/2023 - No comments

Haney-Lomachenko & PPV undercard fights will be broadcast live starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT – The prelims will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

On Saturday, May 20, boxing fans will be treated to a thrilling night of action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, featuring a world title fight and the grandson of “The Greatest” as part of the ESPN-televised prelims to the Top Rank on ESPN+ PPV main event.

The main attraction of the prelims is a vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title showdown between Australia’s former world champion Andrew Moloney and Japan’s undefeated former WBO flyweight titlist Junto Nakatani.

Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) is looking to bounce back from his trilogy with Joshua Franco, which saw him lose his WBA title by unanimous decision in June 2020, then suffer a controversial no contest and a second decision defeat in their rematches. Moloney is determined to prove himself as one of the best in the division and claim another world title against Nakatani.

Nakatani (21-0, 16 KOs) is a rising star in the Japanese boxing scene, having won the WBO flyweight title in 2019 with a fourth-round knockout of Milan Melindo. He defended his belt once before vacating it to move up in weight and pursue bigger challenges. Nakatani is making his U.S. debut and aims to impress the American audience with his power and skills.

The prelims will also feature undefeated middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, in a scheduled eight-rounder against a to-be-determined foe.

Ali Walsh (1-0, 1 KO) made his professional debut in August with a first-round stoppage of Jordan Weeks. The 21-year-old has inherited his grandfather’s charisma and boxing talent, and he hopes to follow in his footsteps and become a champion someday. Ali Walsh will face his second test as a pro on May 20.

The 10-round junior lightweight co-feature will see former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez taking on Adam “BluNose” Lopez in a rematch of their 2019 battle.

In the PPV opener, rising lightweight Raymond “Danger” Muratalla takes a big step up in competition versus big-punching Namibian contender Jeremia Nakathila in a 10-round clash.

Jordan Gill Shocks Michael Conlan In Upset Win - Fight Results

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) of Nogales, Mexico, represented his country in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. As a pro, he captured the WBO featherweight world title against Matias Rueda in 2016 and made six defenses. In 2019, he fought Lopez in his first fight at junior lightweight, rising off the canvas before stopping him in controversial fashion in the seventh round. Valdez would go on to defeat Jayson Velez before scoring a stunning 10th-round knockout over Miguel Berchelt to capture the WBC junior lightweight title. The 32-year-old suffered his first defeat in a unification fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena against Shakur Stevenson last April, and a year later, he is ready for another run at a 130-pound title.

Valdez said, “I feel very happy to finally be returning to the place where I most like to be, which is inside the ring, after a one-year absence from boxing. I feel happy to finally be returning. I am very motivated, more than ever, to continue my dream to once again become a world champion. That is my goal this year.

“In order to do that, I have to get past this obstacle, which is not going to be easy. I’m going to be facing someone that I fought in 2019 in Adam Lopez, an experienced opponent who even sent me to the canvas in the early rounds of our first fight. I cannot take him lightly, and that’s making me train harder now. I have to get past this fight to be able to fight the current champion, Emanuel ‘El Vaquero’ Navarrete.”

Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) is a 26-year-old native of Glendale, California, who has the sport in his bloodline. His father, the late Hector Lopez, captured a silver medal for Team Mexico at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Lopez earned a Top Rank contract with his off-the-canvas knockout victory over Jean Carlos Rivera in May 2019. Following the Rivera victory, he fought Valdez on a day’s notice after Valdez’s original opponent was more than 10 pounds overweight. Lopez is 3-2 with a no contest since the first Valdez fight, including hard-fought decision victories over Louie Coria and Jason Sanchez.

Who Won? Ryan Garcia - Oscar Duarte Fight Results

Lopez said, “He should have picked someone else. He barely got away the first time around. This time, it will be clear that I’m the better fighter. I’m coming to get mine back May 20.”

Muratalla (17-0, 14 KOs) is the latest standout to come out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. He debuted in 2016 in Mexico and made his U.S. debut in 2018. Muratalla has stopped 12 of his last 13 opponents and shined at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last April with a third round stoppage over Jeremy Hill. The native of Fontana, California, returns less than two months since his ninth-round knockout win over Humberto Galindo in March. Muratalla survived a first-round knockdown to dominate Galindo.

“This is my time. This is my moment,” Muratalla said. “I’ve been asking for this fight for a long time, and I am thrilled it’s taking place on such a significant card. Nakathila is a dangerous fighter, but that will only fuel me to put on a sensational performance.”

Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) is a 32-year-old former title challenger from the South African country of Namibia. He made his pro debut in 2013 and went 11-0 in his home country before traveling to Russia to face Evgeny Chuprakov in his first regional title opportunity. Following his first loss, the hard-hitting Nakathila bounced back with 10 knockout wins before securing a shot at Shakur Stevenson for the interm WBO title at 130 pounds. Nakathila is coming off two stoppage victories, including a brutal sixth-round demolition over Berchelt.

Nakathila said, “I’m excited to return to Las Vegas to give Muratalla a boxing lesson he will never forget. The experience will be valuable for his career, though, and I hope he is ready because I have every intention of taking care of business just like I did the last time I was there. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m happy to be back in the ring again on such an attractive card.”

The main event of the night will be a blockbuster clash between undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney and former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko for Haney’s WBC title.