Jaime Munguia to face Sadam Ali after Liam Smith’s withdrawal
Unbeaten contender Jaime Munguia will now face Sadam Ali for the WBO junior middleweight title on May 12, Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez told THE RING Saturday night.
The fight will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Preceding the Ali-Munguia bout will be Rey Vargas defending his WBC junior featherweight title against contender Azat Hovhannisyan.
Both fights will air live on HBO (10:00 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
Munguia, THE RING’s 2017 Prospect of the Year, replaces former world title challenger Liam Smith, who withdrew from the fight earlier this week due to suffering an allergic skin reaction that prevented him from training for the Ali fight.
The 21-year-old Munguia (28-0, 24 knockouts) made headlines earlier this month when he was considered as a possible opponent for Gennady Golovkin after Canelo Alvarez withdrew from a scheduled May 5 rematch against the unified middleweight titleholder from Kazakhstan.
Within days, the Nevada Athletic Commission ended up not approving Munguia as an opponent for Golovkin.
Munguia is ranked No. 4 by the WBO, but Ali will be the first significant test of his career. Munguia, who is promoted by Zanfer Promotions, has been a staple of recent fight cards that air on Azteca TV in Mexico or on beIN Sports en Espanol in the United States.
In his last bout on March 17, Munguia knocked out Johnny Navarrete in the third round. Munguia has fought once in the U.S., stopping Paul Valenzuela in the second round in Las Vegas on Dec. 9.
Ali (26-1, 14 KOs), who resides in Brooklyn, New York, will be making the first defense of the WBO title he won from Miguel Cottoon Dec. 2 in THE RING’s 2017 Upset of the Year.
Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected]or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.