WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico is set for his first title defense as he will take on former world champion Liam "Beefy" Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) of England this Saturday July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. Just days away from the fight Munguia will look impress once again live on HBO Boxing After Dark
"I'm very excited for this fight and very motivated to be fighting on HBO again," Jaime Munguia on his upcoming bout.
The 21 year old Munguia started the year unknown as he made his U.S. debut last December in Las Vegas on the Mikey Roman Orlando Salido non-televised under-card stopping Paul Valenzuela Jr. in two rounds. Munguia would go on to win his next two fights in Mexico knocking out his opponents.
With the most anticipated rematch in boxing between Canelo and Golovkin announced earlier this year for May 5th. All bets were off for Cinco de Mayo as Canelo would test positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. In wake of the Canelo Clenbuterol scandal there was a domino effect as Canelo withdrew from the rematch leaving "GGG" without an opponent. Golovkin and his team quickly scrambled for a replacement. One of the names mentioned for Golovkin was Jaime Munguia.
"The potential fight against Gennady Golovkin really got my name out there. It allowed me to get the opportunity to fight for a world title. I'm grateful for that. I'm also grateful that the NSAC didn't allow me to fight against Golovkin because it lead to this world title," Munguia said
Fortunately for Munguia the Nevada State Athletic Commission denied the young Mexican prospect a shot at Golovkin. It's mysterious how this commission functions Munguia explained. "Thinks happen for a reason but I don't understand how the commission was able to approve Connor McGregor's fight against Mayweather."
Following the buzz and rejection. Golovkin and his team decided to go with Vanes Martirosyan as he made quick work of the 2004 U.S. Olympian knocking him out in two rounds. The following week Munguia delivered his knockout.
"I got the call to fight Sadam Ali with only two weeks notice. I knew my advantage was my reach and my power. I knew that he was a smaller fighter," Munguia on taking the fight against Sadam Ali.
Coming off a spectacular stoppage, Munguia disposed of his opponent the 2008 U.S Olympian Sadam Ali in four rounds as Ali was coming off a decision over Miguel Cotto.
"Winning that fight and title has really got my name out there," Mungia said about his win over Sadam Ali.
Munguia is trained by Oscar De La Hoya's former trainer Robert Alcazar, who guided De La Hoya to multiple world titles. The duo trained in southern California in preparation for the Englishman and former champion Smith.
"We had a sensational training camp. We have a great team," Munguia on training camp. "I feel good we had a good camp. So I feel very good, I'm coming into this fight one hundred percent,"
His opponent Smith since being stopped by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez back in September of 2016 has won three straight fights and is coming off back to back wins over Liam Williams. Smith was originally scheduled to take on Sadam Ali but withdrew from the May 12 fight due to a skin condition from an allergic reaction that forced him to pull out.
"I think that the only advantage that Liam Smith has is that he's fought in big events before. But I have many fights under my belt. I have a lot of experience," Munguia on Smith.
Stepping in for Smith on a two week notice was the young, unknown Jaime Munguia as he would go on to to capture the WBO title with a statement. With a title in his possession, Munguia has already expressed interest in a potential unification bout in the stacked and talented super welterweight division. Champions include WBC champ Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs), WBA and IBF champ Jarret Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs)
"I would love to have a unify my titles in my weight class with Charlo or Hurd but I prefer Hurd," Munguia on a potential unification.
Already with the unification on his mind of course the current focus is Liam Smith but Munguia has set his sights on becoming one of the best in the sport.
"I feel very motivated now that I am a world champion. Everyone is going to talk about me after this fight. This will open up more opportunities," Munguia said. "After this fight everyone will compare me to Canelo and Golvokin. I want to be a great champion and a legend,"
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla