By Elliot Foster
Liam Smith will fight for the world title next month.
The former WBO super-welterweight world champion is mandatory for another shot at the crown he surrendered back in September 2016.
Smith, 29, had been set to face Sadam Ali, the champion, for the belt on May 12 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
But he was forced to withdraw due to illness, meaning that undefeated Jaime Munguia of Mexico stepped in to challenge the 2008 Olympian, who won the belt with a victory over Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto last December.
Munguia, who is now undefeated in 29 fights with 25 early, drilled through Ali inside four rounds.
It was originally understood that the new titlist would look to fight in a voluntary defence before facing Smith.
But the WBO president, Francisco Valcarcel, has said that they must negotiate the mandatory showdown immediately.
And after Munguia said recently that the fight was nailed down for a date in July, ‘Beefy’s’ promoter Frank Warren has gone one step further and confirmed the date for the fight.
Smith will challenge Munguia on July 21, according to Warren, who told iFL TV on Monday: “The Liam Smith fight is done and I’ve got to find out the venue. It’s a big fight for him, a tough fight, but it’s a fight that he needs.
“He needs to fight and he can’t have the fight being pushed back any further.”
Munguia is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, the company behind the rematch between Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
“Obviously their minds have been on the Canelo-Golovkin fight,” Warren added. “That’s been the problem with getting the date and getting the fight finalised.”
Details regarding the venue for Smith’s fight against Mexico’s Munguia will be revealed in due course.
It is understood that the fight will be aired on HBO in the States, while BoxNation and BT Sport are expected to pick the clash up in the UK.