By Miguel Rivera
Mexico's Jaime Munguia is very eager to get in the ring on May 12 in Verona, New York, when he goes for the junior middleweight title of the World Organization of Boxing.
Munguia, 21, is unbeaten with a record of 28-0 with 24 knockouts, while Ali has a record of 26-1 and 14 knockouts.
Munguia is a late replacement for mandatory challenger Liam Smith, who withdrew from the contest after suffering an allergic reaction that prevented him from training the last week.
The native of Tijuana is very motivated to knock Ali out, after losing out on another high profile opportunity.
He was originally contacted to replace Canelo Alvarez to fight middleweight champion Gennady Golovkon on May 5th.
Ultimately, Golovkin's handlers took a pass on Munguia and finalized a deal with Vanes Martirosyan.
The Mexican boxer has trained for weeks in California with Robert Alcázar, who was coach of Oscar de la Hoya, Jessie Vargas, Edwin "Inca" Valero and Jose "Chon" Zepeda.
He wants to replicate the accomplishment of Jessie Vargas, who in 2016 knocked out Ali to capture the WBO title at welterweight.
Ali is making his first defense after unseating Miguel Cotto for the WBO title last December. This will be Ali's second fight at junior middleweight.
"The opportunity has come and there is no other option but to show who we are and that we are ready for the big leagues," Munguia told ESPN Deportes.
"I am preparing myself conscientiously, one hundred percent focused and focused for the fight. I do not expect it to be an easy battle, but I promise that I will win that title and I will take it to Mexico.
"Ali is a very strong opponent and has very quickly hands, moves a lot and clearly has a style that is very different from Gennady Golovkin, but I think he can't take as much or hit as hard as Golovkin. I can knock him out, just like Jessie Vargas did."