Promoters for WBO junior middleweight titleholder Jaime Munguia and Liam Smith are negotiating, according to ESPN.com, for a mandatory title defense, with the sides having until June 14 to reach a deal before a purse bid is ordered.
Dan Rafael reports that the fight could come to HBO on July 21 or 28, with a potential Alberto Machado-Rafael Mensah co-feature.
Munguia (29-0, 25 KO) pummeled Sadam Ali to win the title on May 12, coming into the fight as a late replacement for Smith (26-1-1, 14 KO), a former WBO titleholder whose only pro loss came against Canelo Alvarez in 2016.
The 21-year-old Munguia has exploded into the top ranks of the 154-pound division thanks to that victory, going from blue chip prospect to champion pretty much out of nowhere, as Ali was the first serious opponent of his career.
Smith, 29, has won three straight since his loss to Canelo, including a pair of hard-fought wins over Liam Williams in 2017.