Warren says WBO have ordered Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith fight
By Trevor McIntyre: Promoter Frank Warren says he just received the notification that the World Boxing Organization has ordered WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs) to defend against #1 WBO mandatory challenger Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) next. Warren says he expects the Munguia vs. Smith fight will take place in August or September.
Warren isn’t saying whether the Munguia vs. Smith fight will take place in the UK. He just got the notification.
Munguia, 21, knocked out WBO 154lb champion Sadam Ali (26-2, 14 KOs) in the 4th round last Saturday night in Verona, New York. This was a voluntary defense for Ali, who agreed to the much naturally bigger and stronger Munguia after Liam Smith had to pull out of the fight due to an allergy problem. In hindsight, Ali made a mistake of agreeing to fight Munguia rather than another contender with less power and size. The 6’1” Munguia used his strength and size to smash the smaller Ali.
Warren believes that Liam Smith would have done a job on Sadam as well if it had been him inside the ring last Saturday. Ali looked so bad, it’s difficult to imagine him beating the stronger Smith.
“Liam Smith, the WBO ordered the new champion, the Mexican [Jaime Munguia]; we’ve got 30 days to agree to terms,” Warren said to IFL TV.
Munguia is going to be a very hard fight for Smith due to his punching power. Smith might be able to expose his chin and conditioning if he’s able to land some shots on him and drag him into the later rounds.
Munguia looked beatable in round 3 when Ali was attacking him with hard shots. However, once Munguia started hitting Ali back, he shut him down and battered him until the fight was stopped in the 4th. There was a missed knocked down late in the 3rd round when Munguia landed several hard shots that caused Ali to try and grab him around the waist. Ali fell to the canvas after losing his grip.
Smith, 29, has been knocked out once before by Saul Canelo Alvarez in September 2016 in the 9th round at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Smith hits every bit as hard as Canelo, but he has a better engine and can throw more punches and pressuring nonstop.
The way that Munguia fights is like how middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin fights with the way he stalks his opponents for three minutes of every round. There’s no letup with the pressure Munguia puts on his opponents. He might be too much for Smith. Liam Williams showed good power in his two fights with Smith, but he didn’t have the same stamina that we saw from Munguia last Saturday. If Williams had the same kind of conditioning that Munguia showed against Ali, he might have beaten Smith in their two fights.
”It’s a shame Liam Smith wasn’t in the ring with [Sadam] Ali,” Warren said. ”I think he would have done the same thing. The Mexican is a real puncher, he comes to fight. I think it’s a tough fight, but I think Liam’s got a good boxing brain plus he can punch, and plus he can fight. That’s a fight he can win and regain his title. I just got the notification yesterday, so we’ll work on that,” Warren said.
It’s unfortunate that Liam Smith didn’t fight Ali, because he very likely would have beaten him too. It was a missed opportunity for Smith. But even if he had won, he still would be in the position where he’d soon have to face Munguia. The fight probably wouldn’t have taken place for a couple years depending on how quickly the World Boxing Organization moved Munguia up their rankings.
Munguia was rated No.6 by the WBO going into the fight with Ali last Saturday night. Had Smith beaten Ali, he very likely wouldn’t have bothered facing Munguia until he became his mandatory challenger. That might have taken 2 years. It’s too bad Munguia was given the shot against Ali instead of a guy that the New Yorker could beat, because it would put Smith in a situation where he would likely have beaten him with ease to regain his WBO title the easy way.
August/September,” Warren said when asked when Liam Smith will be fighting Munguia. “It’s a good fight.”
Smith doesn’t have long to wait for his title fight against Munguia. Hopefully for Smith’s sake, he doesn’t have a relapse of his skin problem, because he needs to get back inside the ring fighting again. Smith hasn’t fought since beating Liam Williams by a 12 round majority decision in their rematch last November. Smith will have 3 to 4 months to figure out a strategy in how to deal with the power, size and the pressure from Munguia. Smith has never fought anyone like Munguia before. Williams and Canelo both had power, but they didn’t have the same engine that Munguia has got. Smith was able to get rest breaks a time against both. It was Smith who gassed out in the Canelo fight rather than vice versa. If Smith fades against Munguia, he’ll likely get knocked out by the 21-year-old fighter.