Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs) will defend his WBO title against former champion Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday, July 21.
This fight is a solid matchup between an up-and-coming talented titleholder and a very solid veteran and former world titleholder.
This fight should give boxing fans a verdict on whether or not Munguia has what it takes to compete with the top of both the Junior Middleweight division and possibly even Middleweight division as he is a big 154-pounder. With Smith’s scrappy style and Munguia ready to make a statement, this fight is likely to have good action.
There hasn’t been much talk of Jaime Munguia until April of this year when he was named as a possible step in opponent for Gennady Golovkin on May 5. The Nevada commission wouldn’t license the fight, even though Munguia was willing.
Yet, the commission ruling was probably a blessing in disguise because later in May, Liam Smith had to pull out of a May 12 bout with Sadam Ali for the WBO title and this is when Munguia was named as a replacement.
Munguia overpowered Ali and completely outclassed him earning himself his first strap. Fast forward just two months later and Munguia is ready to defend his belt for the first time.
If this fight goes anything like the Ali fight, Munguia will be on the attack. The 21-year-old Munguia is determined to keep his WBO title and is looking to defend it in style by knocking the 29-year-old Smith out come Saturday.
Liam Smith is no slouch, yet he is short of an elite fighter. He held the same WBO 154-pound belt starting in 2015 after beating John Thompson in a vacant title bout. He later defended the belt against Jimmy Kilrain Kelly and Predrag Radosevic, which neither were top level contenders.
In September 2016, Smith suffered his first loss against Canelo Alvarez in Texas. Alvarez owned the fight, stopping Smith in the ninth round. Since his single loss to Alvarez, Smith has bounced back, winning his last three fights.
Earlier this year, Smith was set to take on Ali for the belt, but had to pull out late and because of that Munguia got his shot at the title and executed. Smith wants this belt and wants to get back on top.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Munguia handles another true 154-pounder Saturday night. Munguia is usually the much bigger man and paired with his overwhelming style, it is simply too much to handle for his opponents.
Smith isn’t easily bullied so it is likely we are going to see some back-and-forth action. This fight is huge for both men as they look to move to the next level, you won’t want to miss it–tune into HBO on Saturday starting at 10:00 pm, EST / 7:00 pm, PST.
Header photo by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions