With Liam Smith out of his May 12 crack at Sadam Ali and the WBO junior middleweight title due to a skin condition that prevented him from training, top prospect Jaime Munguia is stepping in for what really might be a sleeper fight now on the schedule.
Munguia (28-0, 24 KO) popped up in headlines recently when he agreed to replace Canelo Alvarez on May 5 against Gennady Golovkin, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to sanction that bout, citing Munguia’s lack of experience against better competition.
But make no mistake: he’s a terrific prospect, a 21-year-old Mexican fighter with some solid wins for his age, and this fight against Ali (26-1, 14 KO) could be a breakout for him. Ali will be favored by most, I suspect, because he’s got more U.S. exposure and he’s coming off of a win over Miguel Cotto, but if nothing else, Munguia is a talented, live dog in this matchup. Given the lack of time to find a replacement for Smith, you have to commend Golden Boy for getting a risky opponent for Ali, at least on paper.
What do you see happening here? Ali retains or do we get a new top name at 154?