By Elliot Foster
Liam Smith could fight for the world title in September.
The mandatory challenger to the WBO super-welterweight crown was set to come up against Sadam Ali on May 12.
Smith, a former holder of the title, was forced out of his clash against the 2008 Olympian recently after suffering an allergic reaction to a virus treatment.
Ali will now face Jaime Munguia –– a 21-year-old Mexican who is undefeated in 28 contests with 24 by stoppage –– in a voluntary defence at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
But ‘Beefy’s’ promoter Frank Warren has revealed that the 29-year-old’s shot against the winner is likely to be rescheduled for the autumn –– and that he will fight in a keep-busy outing in the meantime.
“I’m not injured or going to be out for a long time,” Smith said. “I just had a virus and an allergy infection that kept me out of the gym for eight days and two weeks before a world title fight I think any fighter would have done the same in my situation.
“I couldn’t afford to have seven days out of the gym two weeks before a world title fight. If it was four or five weeks, maybe so, you could stomach it, but two weeks before, it was a risk I couldn’t take.”
Smith lost his world title to Saul Alvarez by stoppage at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas back in September 2016 and went into the fight with a cut on his forehead which meant that he couldn’t spar for over a month before the fight.
“I went ahead with the ‘Canelo’ fight with a cut and it’s once bitten, twice shy,” he added. “I’m not going to do that again, I may not get another shot, so I need to be 100 per cent and I need to win that title back.
“The frustrating part was that I wasn’t far off fighting fit, I was ready to fight, and that’s been the bitter pill to swallow, that I’m fit and healthy and not out with a bad hand or a bad foot or anything.”
Warren believes in his man to reclaim his former riches when his time finally comes.
“The big thing for Liam is that he will be fighting the winner as the mandatory challenger,” he said. “He can win that title back. He did go into the ‘Canelo’ fight with a cut –– he insisted on doing it –– and we’re not going to go down that road again. He needs to be 100 percent.
“I think he’s capable, when he’s fully fit, of being the best 11-stone fighter in the world.”