Jaime Munguia (28-0, 24 KOs), the dangerous undefeated 154-pound contender of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will step in to challenge Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. in a 12-round battle for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title on May 12 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The co-main event will feature Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) and Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (14-2, 11 KOs) in a 12-round clash for the WBC Super Bantamweight World Title.The doubleheader will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Munguia will replace Liam “Beefy” Smith, who was forced to pull out of the fight against Ali due to an illness. This dangerous 21-year-old puncher has ended 24 of his fights by stunning knockout and will look to take advantage of his first world title opportunity as he returns to the United States for only the second time in his career.
“I want to thank everyone involved, but above all I thank Sadam Ali for the opportunity,” said Jaime Munguia. “Though all the criticisms made about me have motivated me to be where I am, I will show that they were all wrong. I will crown myself as world champion on May 12.”
Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, was unfazed by the change. The 29-year-old champion silenced all doubters by defeating Miguel Cotto via unanimous decision in Dec. 2017 to win the title he currently holds. Ali will look to defend his title in a dangerous battle against a young contender.
“I’m determined to defend my title for the first time on May 12,” said Sadam Ali. “It doesn’t matter who, and it doesn’t matter how. Jaime Munguia will have the opportunity of a lifetime when he fights me, but I’m walking away with my hand up in victory and the belt around my waist.”
Ali vs. Munguia is a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions. Vargas vs. Hovhannisyan is a 12-round battle for the WBC Super Bantamweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Casa Mexico Tequila. The event takes place Saturday, May 12 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. ET, and the first fight begins at 6:30 p.m. ET. The doubleheader will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Host of the May 12 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 25th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.
Tickets for this highly anticipated matchup are on sale and are available from $95 and $75 for ringside seats and all others priced at $55 and $45, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office in person or by calling 315-361-7469 or online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).
Professional media requesting credentials for Ali vs. Smith must contact Kelly Abdo, Turning Stone Resort Casino Public Relations Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.