Liam Smith’s disappointing injury just days away from his bid to regain the WBO super-welterweight has had a derogatory knock-on effect for the Briton.
The 29 year-old was due to face predominant welterweight Sadam Ali, the man who shocked Miguel Cotto in his final fight, on May 12 for the chance to become a two-time world title holder at 154 pounds.
A skin reaction in the final weeks left Smith unable to train for the Ali fight, leaving ‘Beefy’ with no choice but to inform Golden Boy Promotions he wouldn’t be ready.
Ali’s Muslim faith and the fact he wanted to observe Ramadan (which began this week) meant the Cotto conqueror had to find a replacement despite pleas from Smith to reschedule for June.
Jaime Munguia then stepped in on the back of a failed bid to challenge Gennady Golovkin at middleweight on Cinco de Mayo and the rest – as they say – is history.
The tough Mexican took advantage of the size difference to bludgeon Ali into submission and give Smith a much tougher task of regaining his old strap.
The WBO wasted no time in ordering negotiations to begin between Munguia and Smith, handling down a deadline of 30 days for both parties to reach an agreement.
Unless something drastic changes, Munguia and Smith should now trade blows by the end of the summer, with the United States the early favorite to stage the contest.