WBO Super Welterweight Champion Sadam Ali, who upset Miguel Cotto for the belt last December, will indeed be facing #1 contender Liam Smith in his first title defense. Frank Warren has come to terms with Golden Boy for a May showdown somewhere in the United States, with GBP reportedly targeting May 12th at Verona’s Turning Stone Resort & Casino.
Ali (26-1, 14 KO) earned his first breakout win in 2014 with a drubbing of the ever-dangerous Luis Carlos Abregu, stopping the Argentine veteran in nine. He came up disastrously short against Jessie Vargas in his first title shot, but impressed mightily against Cotto despite stepping up in weight to do so.
Smith (26-1-1, 14 KO) is coming off of two wins over Liam Williams that look better on paper than in practice. In the first fight, he appeared to be struggling with Williams before a clash of heads busted Williams’ eyebrow open and called a halt to proceedings, and his majority decision victory in the rematch was nothing to write home about. Still, he’s tough, relentless, and a natural super welterweight, so this could wind up being interesting.