By Steve Kim
It was certainly a courageous effort from Liam Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs) who went twelve tough rounds versus WBO 154-pound titlist Jaime Munguia this past weekend from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
It was Munguia's first defense of the title that he won in May, after a four round demolition of Sadam Ali.
Smith was initially scheduled to face Ali - but he withdrew with an injury. Taking his place on late notice, was Munguia.
The World Boxing Organization would then order Munguia to face Smith - who was hoping to reclaim the title he lost in 2016 to Canelo Alvarez.
While he was floored in the sixth, he gave the young rampaging Mexican his toughest fight and extended him the distance.
While he didn't come out victorious, Smith earned plaudits for his game performance.
His trainer, Joe Gallagher, said to BoxingScene.com - "Liam, I'm immensely proud of him. He put in a solid performance, the tactics got off to a good start and it was a good effort in the defeat. It just wasn't going to be his night."
Smith proved his worth as a legitimate junior middleweight contender but the wideness of the scorecards (116-111, 119-108 and 117-110) irk Gallagher.
"I thought his performance was good early on. The thing is, Liam, fought a good effort and two of the scorecards - and I'm not saying we won the fight - but I think a fair reflection of Liam's performance would have given him more credit for his work," Gallagher said.
"He didn't get credit, at all, for the work he did in that fight. Everyone is saying,'What a fight' and it's the fight of the year. Those two judges (Eric Cheek and Dave Moretti) I think they filled them out the night before."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.