Dangerous puncher Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) defended his WBO junior middleweight world championship against former world champion Liam "Beefy" Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs) via 12-round decision in the main event of HBO Boxing After Dark on Saturday, in front of 2470 fans at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.
Munguia scored a knockdown with a counter left hook in the sixth round of a back-and-forth battle in which the native of Tijuana, Mexico eventually won with scores of 116-111, 119-110, and 119-108.
Smith was the World Boxing Organization's mandatory challenger to the title.
Smith was set to face Sadam Ali back in May. He withdrew with injury and was later replaced by Munguia, who destroyed Ali in four rounds to capture the WBO crown.
"I feel good. I'm happy. I think that the people liked it," said Munguia.
"I didn't win by knockout like I always. This is the fifth decision win of my career. But I fought a good opponent who was strong. I came in very well prepared. There are no excuses and we will keep learning because this gave me a lot of experience. I'm only 21 years old and I will keep working in the gym. Liam Smith is a warrior. He is strong. There were times where I really landed punches, which really backed him up.
"He's very strong and can take a punch, so I have no excuses. I was always looking for the knockout. I always looked for the fight, and I went in there like a true Mexican. I think going these 12 rounds will serve me as experience."
Also on the card, Alberto "Explosivo" Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico, retained his WBA Super Featherweight World Title by beating previously undefeated Rafael "Sweet Pea" Mensah (31-1, 23 KOs) of Accra, Ghana via 10-round unanimous decision in the co-main event.
Machado dropped Mensah with a hard right hook in the first round and hurt him several times en route to earning three scores of 120-107.