Nakathila takes on dangerous Mercado

Jeremia Nakathila and his supporting crew. Photo: Jeremia Nakathila FB

Jeremia ‘Lowkey’ Nakathila will aim to revive his boxing career when he takes on the unbeaten Ernesto Mercado of the United States in a junior welterweight fight in California on 11 November. 

The 33-year-old Nakathila suffered a controversial second round technical knockout defeat to Raymond Muratalla in his last fight six months ago in Las Vegas, but he has put that behind him as he aims to get back on track with a victory against the highly-rated Mercado. 

“I’m ready to fight and to go and beat Ernesto on the 11th of November. I’ve been preparing hard, I’m hungry for victory, and I want to end the year in a good fashion,” he said. 

“I don’t know much about Ernesto apart from reading his name and I happened to watch a few of his videos on YouTube. He’s a good boxer, but I’m good as well, so it will be a good fight,” he added. 

Nakathila’s defeat to Muratalla took his pro record to 23 wins and three losses, while Mercado, who only turned 22 last week, is still undefeated after 12 pro fights.

He won his first 10 fights by knockout, before going the distance for the first time against South Africa’s Xolisani Ndongeni, winning a unanimous decision over 10 rounds in July.

Since then he got back to his knockout ways, beating Carlos Portillo of Paraguay on a first round KO on 28 August, and now, with a record of 12 wins from 12 fights, 11 via knockout, he is one of the hottest prospects around in world boxing. 

Nakathila said he had learnt his lessons from his defeat to Muratalla.

“That last fight was not much of a fight because the referee stopped the fight prematurely. You know, when we come from Africa, we have a bit of a disadvantage and sometimes those referees, they try to protect those prospects in America, like Raymond who was a Top Rank prospect,” he said. 

“However, we’ve been studying a few of the things that the referees normally do, so I’m going to avoid doing those things again where the ref can penalise you or stop the fight,” he added.

Nakathila said that he is still determined to compete at the highest level to try and get a crack at the world title.

“I’m still hungry for a world title shot and this fight is also part of my road to the world title. I’m still hungry, I feel I can still do more in boxing, so I’m looking forward to a world title fight. My fans they should just keep on supporting us, I like the support that I’m getting from my people, and we are going there to make them proud,” he said. 

Nakathila’s promoter Nestor Tobias said it will be a tough fight. 

“Ernesto is undefeated after 12 fights, so this is going to be a big challenge for Lowkey. The winner will also go back to the top of the world rankings in the junior welterweight division, so this is going to be the redemption of Nakathila,” he said.

“To get such a big fight you need to have a good record. We have good boxers in the country, but we have to promote them ourselves because  nobody else is going to do that for us. But to do that we need funds and that’s why we need to thank our main sponsor MTC and our supporting sponsor PstBet,” he added. 

“Nakathila has been training very hard, he’s also fighting at junior welterweight for the first time, but Nakathila is not a short guy, he is tall, so I dont think there will be a problem, but it will be a challenge for him to work harder to get the desired result. Our coaches Nicky Natangwe and SBK Kaperu have been working very hard and he is in good shape and ready for the fight,” he said. 

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