By Miguel Rivera
WBO junior middleweight Jaime Munguia is really pumped to make a statement in his upcoming defense against mandatory challenger Liam Smith of UK.
Munguia, who captured the title on May 12 with a four round destruction of Sadam Ali, will collide with Smith at The Joint of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"I feel strong, fast and I'm anxious already to get to the day of the fight. I think it's going to be difficult for Smith to reach the distance. I am confident that I will win and knock him out," said Munguia.
Accompanied by his promoter Fernando Beltran, Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs) took part in an open workout from the Westside Boxing Club.
Smith (26-1 -1, 14 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Ali, but he withdrew with an illness - and then Munguia stepped in on short notice.
Initially, the Mexican puncher was being scouted to face middleweight king Gennady Golovkin on May 5, and that opportunity was denied to him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission - who felt he wasn't ready for such a contest.
Now with a world title around his waist, and fighting on HBO for a second time, Munguia is ready to make more waves in the United States.
"In a short time a lot of things changed for me and we have handled them in a calm manner, with full awareness that all of the good things are happening because we are 100% focused on boxing, staying disciplined and doing things well," Munguia said.
Munguia is trained by veteran coach Roberto Alcazar and he's promised to remain on the right path - by avoiding distractions that may hurt him as a pro.
"Every time I will demand more of myself in boxing, with preparations, taking care of myself and keeping that hunger for victory. I represent Mexico, Tijuana and it fills me with pride and motivation," Munguia said.