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WBO orders Jaime Munguia to defend against mandatory contender Liam Smith

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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The World Boxing Organization has sent a letter to Golden Boy Promotions, Zanfer Promotions and Queensberry Promotions giving the three promotional firms 30 days to come to an agreement for newly crowned WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia to defend his title against mandatory contender Liam Smith.

Munguia, 21, was a late replacement for Smith when he claimed the belt with a one-sided beatdown of Sadam Ali at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York on Saturday night, dropping the Brooklynite four times before the referee waved off the contest midway through the fourth round.

The 29-year-old Ali 26-2 (14) was himself an accidental champion when he upset four-division titleholder Miguel Cotto 41-6 (33) last December in what was touted as the Puerto Rican legend’s final professional bout.

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WBO number one contender Smith was due to face Ali on May 12 but withdrew a few weeks before the bout after an allergic reaction left him unable to train.

The letter from the WBO, signed by chairman Luis Batista Salas, was dated May 14 and address to Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions, Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions and frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions. Gold Boy and Zanfer represent Munguia, while Warren handles Smith.

“Please be advised that the parties have thirty days (30) upon receipt of this letter to negotiate and reach an agreement concerning the WBO Jr. Middleweight Title Bout between Jaime Munguia and Liam Smith. If an accord is not reached with the time frame stated herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant to our WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests,” reads the letter.

“Therefore, the minimum acceptable bid for the WBO Jr. Middleweight division is $200,000 (Two-Hundred Thousand Dollars). Any of the parties involved may request a purse bid procedure at any time during the negotiation process.”

The heavy-handed Munguia – a virtual unknown a week ago who was knocked back as a possible replacement for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez when he withdrew from his middleweight title fight against reigning champion Gennady Golovkin scheduled for May 5 – now finds himself in the unique position of being an instant star.

You can expect Gold Boy Promotion and Zanfer to make a strong play to keep this fight in the United States to protect their newest commodity.

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