icon Updated at 07:03 PM EDT, Tue May 15, 2018

Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith Has To Happen, Says WBO Prez

By Miguel Rivera

As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, newly crowned WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia of Mexico, and his promoter Fernando Beltran, are waiting for the opportunity to make a defense in July at the Gasmart stadium in Tijuana.

However, the World Boxing Organization has ordered them to negotiate the mandatory defense against Liam Smith of the UK.

This week, the WBO informed Zanfer that it had 30 days to negotiate the fight with Smith or wait for the sanctioning body to set a purse bid at the end of that period with a minimum bid amount of 200 thousand dollars.

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On Monday, Zanfer announced in Tijuana that they expected to negotiate a voluntary defense for Munguia before facing Smith.

"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 WBO President Francisco Valcarcel to ESPN Deportes.

"If they want to fight in Tijuana or wherever they want it is fine - if they reach an agreement. We just have to remember that Liam Smith is the opponent they have to face.

On Monday in Tijuana, Beltran, of Zanfer, informed reporters of the intention to make an optional defense in the border city, and said Munguía would be available to do it by the end of July. However, they are fully aware of the mandatory fight with former champion Smith, who was dethroned by Canelo Álvarez in September 2016.

"We have the mandatory fight with Liam Smith, but we will look for an opportunity to make a defense in July in front of his people in Tijuana," said the promoter about the future of Munguía.

Last Saturday, Munguía dropped Saddam Ali four times to capture the WBO title in Verona, New York.