Liam Smith Looking to Take WBO 154-pound Title from Hyped Jaime Munguia
Promising boxing prospect Jaime Munguia will attempt to keep his momentum flowing against Liam Smith on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Updated: July 20, 2018 • 5:24 PM ET
Jaime Munguia and Liam Smith will fight in Las Vegas this weekend.
The WBO junior middleweight title will be on the line this Saturday, as 21-year-old Jaime Munguia will defend his belt against former champion Liam Smith in a 12-round fight. Munguia will attempt to verify that he’s not just a prospect, but a legitimate champion. Meanwhile, Smith will try to prove he still has what it takes to be a champion.
Munguia landed on everyone’s radar when his name was on a list of potential opponents for Gennady Golovkin in May. Munguia made it clear that he was ready for a fight of that caliber, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t license the fight. However, fate had Munguia’s back, as Smith had to pull out of a May title fight against Sadam Ali because of a skin condition, giving Munguia a shot at Ali and the title.
Munguia dominated Ali from the opening bell, winning by TKO and solidifying his position as a young fighter everyone should keep their eye on. He’s 29-0 with 25 KO’s and big for junior middleweight at 6-feet tall.
Fans can expect the Mexican-born fighter to attack Smith with no intentions of taking his foot off the gas. Munguia should use his speed and his size to overwhelm Smith, much like he did Ali. The question is: can Smith weather the early storm Munguia will likely bring?
The 29-year-old Smith will attempt to erase the memory of being KO’d by Canelo Alvarez in 2016 with a fourth straight win, which would also make him the WBO junior middleweight champion once again. The Liverpool fighter is confident heading into the fight with the younger Munguia.
"I've been itching to get the title back, and I'll 'old man' him in this fight," Smith said via The Telegraph. "I might have to withstand attacks from him in the early rounds, but I know I can weather that and I'll then come on strong. He hasn't faced anyone as good as me, or as strong."
Smith’s only loss was to Alvarez, as he holds a 26-1-1 record with 14 KO’s. A win against Munguia would certainly be the biggest of his career, despite being a former champion. Should he emerge victorious, Smith will have won a title in Las Vegas, which is on his bucket list.
“I have dreamt of fighting in Las Vegas since I was 17 or 18 years old, but it is more than boxing there and I will be gutted if I don’t win,” Smith said via boxingscene.com.
Also on the card
Albert Machado vs. Rafael Mensah for the WBA super featherweight title
• The main card can be seen on HBO at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 21.
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