By Scott Gilfoid: Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) has pulled out of his May 12th fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam ‘World Kid’ Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) due to an illness. The fight will be postponed until a yet to be determined date.
There are all kinds of speculation on social media about why Smith pulled out of the fight with Ali. A lot of fans don’t believe that Smith pulled out due to illness. Some fans think Smith is overweight, and not close enough to make 154. Some other fans believe Smith pulled out so he can fight Kell Brook in a big money fight instead. Ali is not a big money fight with Smith, and there’s a lot of risk involved for him. It doesn’t mean much to be the WBO 154lb champion if you’re not a popular. It might be better for Smith to go after a fight with Brook instead, because if he loses to Sadam Ali, then he can forget about that fight. If Smith loses to Ali, he’ll be back fighting Liam Williams over and over again.
#1 WBO Smith and Ali were supposed to be fighting each other on the 12th of May at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The illness for Smith must be something fairly serious for him to pull out of the fight given that there’s three weeks to go. If it’s a common cold that Smith has, you would think it would be a 1-week thing, and not a big deal.
There must be some real concern on Smith and his team’s part for them to postpone the fight with this much time still to go. Does Smith have the confidence to do the job against Ali? You have to ask that question when you see him postponing the fight 3 weeks ahead due to an illness. Hopefully this doesn’t become a routine thing where he continues to postpone based illness or whatever.
“I’m bitterly disappointed that I have been forced to postpone my fight with Sadam Ali to a later date,” said Smith. “A recent illness has severely impacted on my training schedule, leaving me with no choice but to postponed the May 12th date.”
If Smith can reschedule for a week or two later, it won’t be a big deal. But if this is something that will take months, then you have to wonder whether Smith is carrying around a little extra weight that is stubbornly sticking to him.
Smith, 29, has won his last three fights since losing to Saul Canelo Alvarez by a 9th round knockout in September 2016. Smith’s wins have come against Marian Cazacu and Liam Williams (x 2). It’s too bad Smith wasted 2 fights on Liam Williams, as he beat him the first time by a 9th round stoppage last year in April. Instead of moving on, Smith went ahead and fought Williams a second time last November and defeated him by a 12 round majority decision.
“I’ve been out of training for eight days. We’re not sure exactly what was wrong with me but it appears to be some sort of allergic reaction,” Smith said. ”I’m not injured and I’m hoping that the fight can be rescheduled quickly,” Smith said.
Allergic reactions are usually brief things, and not lingering issues the way that an illness can linger for a week or two at most. It would have been nice if Smith included a photo of himself along with the press release so that the boxing fans can see what kind of physical condition he’s in right now. It’s always nice to have a photo included when a fighter says he’s ill, injured or whatever. I’m just saying.
It’s too bad for Ali that Smith asked for a postponement, because he obviously would like to take on someone like Kell Brook or Amir Khan. Those would be good money fights for Sadam. Smith is not an opponent that has attracted much interest at all from the boxing public. The fans don’t care much for the Ali-Smith fight.
Liam Smith didn’t do much during his brief time as the WBO 154 lb. champion from October 2015 to September 2016. After beating John Thompson by a 7th round knockout to win the vacant WBO 154lb. title in October 2015, Smith milked his WBO strap with two easy defenses against Jimmy Kilrain Kelly and Predrag Radosevic. When Smith finally did fight a good contender in Saul Canelo Alvarez in September 2016, he was easily knocked out in the 9th round. If Smith somehow wins back the WBO 154lb title, I would hope that he’ll take serious fights against quality opposition rather than fighting obscure guys again like we saw from him during his brief 1-year reign.
“I’m gutted for Ali and all of the fans that were looking forward to watching the fight,” Smith said. ”I’d like to thank Golden Boy promotions and my promoter Frank Warren for working on a new date for the fight. Ali is a World class fighter and I need to be fully prepared for when I step in the ring with him. I want to give the fans a fight to remember,” Smith said.
Well, if Smith is dealing with an allergic reaction, then he should be able to reschedule the fight very, very soon. But if it’s something else like excess weight that he’s carrying around, like some boxing fans believe to be the case, then it might take months to reschedule.