By Steve Kim
A few weeks ago, it was Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) who was scheduled to face WBO junior middleweight titlist Sadam Ali on May 12th at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in New York.
However, Smith suffered an illness and withdrew from the fight. And in his place stepped in young Mexican banger, Jaime Munguia, who proceeded to bludgeon Ali over four rounds this past weekend to capture the title.
The WBO has ruled that Smith, who remains their number one contender at 154-pounds, will get to face Munguia next.
The President of the sanctioning body has given both sides 30 days to reach an agreement.
"We do not know if they are thinking about making another defense. What we have warned them is.. they have a mandatory fight, and Liam Smith was training for the fight but he fell ill a few days and is back already, while Jaime Munguía had no problems in beating Sadam Ali - so we gave them 30 days to negotiate the mandatory fight," said Valcarcel to ESPN Deportes.
Munguia has no problem getting in the ring with Smith.
"I think Liam Smith is a good fighter but he might be easier than Ali because Ali is the type of guy that boxes and moves around the ring and is harder to catch. Smith is bigger and slower and I think he could be easier for me to hit. Smith is someone I respect but I think he has a better style for me," said Munguia, through Juan Carlos of Zanfer Promotions, to BoxingScene.com .
As for facing the other champions in his weight class like Jermell Charlo (WBC) or Jarrett Hurd (WBA/IBF) in the near future:
"I'm ready for anyone in the division I feel. I am willing to fight anyone that my promoters set up for me. I know that fights against Gennady Golovkin and (Saul) 'Canelo' Alvarez will have to be down the line for later," Munguia said.
Munguia, who improved to 29-0 (25 KO's), was actually talked about as a potential foe for Golovkin on his May 5th date - but the young fighter was rejected by the Nevada Athletic Commission, who felt that he was too inexperienced.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.