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JAIME MUNGUIA TO DEFEND WBO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE AGAINST FORMER WORLD CHAMPION LIAM ‘BEEFY’ SMITH

LAS VEGAS (June 21, 2018): *Jaime Munguia *(29-0, 25 KOs), the
newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja
California, Mexico, will make the first defense of his title against former
world champion *Liam “Beefy” Smith* (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main
event Saturday, July 21 at *The Joint* at the *Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,
Las Vegas*. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark
beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Munguia is a dangerous 21-year-old puncher who has ended 25 of his fights
by stunning knockout. Munguia has only fought twice in the United States,
the second of which was for a last-minute title opportunity against *Sadam
“World Kid” Ali *in May. Munguia used his enormous height and reach
advantages to drop Ali several times before a thunderous left hook ended
matters in the fourth round. The newly-crowned champion is excited to
defend his new belt.

“I’m very excited and thankful with everyone that made this possible,”
said *Jaime
Munguia.*”I invite the fans to go and see me live or to tune in on HBO. I
will defend my WBO title with pride and honor. See you in Vegas!”

Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title,
is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 impressive
victories as a professional, Smith defeated *John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson* via
seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title. Smith
then lost the title against *Canelo Alvarez* in front of over 50,000 fans
at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in an impressive show of heart. Smith
has had three victories since, and after pulling out of his May 12 fight
against Sadam Ali due to an illness, he is more than ready to regain the
title that was once his.

“To go to Vegas and fight for a world title is every fighter’s dream,”
said *Liam
Smith*.”But it’s only an extra incentive to my main motivation – getting
that WBO world junior middleweight title back around my waist.Munguia is
obviously a dangerous puncher and I’ll have to be wary of him early on, but
he’s never fought someone as good as me and a fully-fledged 154lb fighter.
I can’t afford to look an inch past Munguia though. He’s world champion for
a reason and with such a high knockout percentage, I’m going to have to be
my best ever. Unfortunately for Munguia, that’s what I’ll be.”

In the co-main event, *Alberto “Explosivo” Machado *(19-0, 16 KOs) will put
his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated
No. 1 Contender *Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah *(31-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round
battle.

Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his
division and boasts power in both hands. After unifying two regional titles
with a dominant unanimous decision victory against *Carlos “The Solution”
Morales*, Machado defeated *Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales *by way of
eighth-round knockout to capture WBA Super Featherweight Title in Oct.
2017. The hard-hitting southpaw promises to retain his title on July 21.

“One as a fighter knows the sacrifices that are made to become world
champion,” said *Alberto Machado*. “Because of that, I will defend my title
with blood and honor this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory
challenger, and he possess great credentials, including an impressive
record. That’s why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand
raise in my first defense.”

Mensah is a 27-year-old contender of Accra, Ghana who made his professional
debut in 2010. Since then he has steadily climbed up 130-pound rankings,
earning his spot at the top of the WBA rankings and a shot at the title.
Mensah is confident that he has the skills to outclass Machado.

“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said *Rafael
Mensah. *”When I saw Machado, I said ‘Yes, I can beat you. You are not
somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah. I will come and
maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good
boxing lesson.'”

“We’re excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21,”
said *Oscar De La Hoya*, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Jaime
Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating
fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main
event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes
the first defense of what will be a very long reign.”

“I’m proud and excited that this Mexican Kid from Tijuana [Munguia], who’s
the hottest fighter in boxing today, will once again fight on July 21 against
the tough Liam Smith,” said *Fernando Beltran, *CEO of Zanfer Promotions.
“I know he will prevail again in spectacular fashion like he always does.”

“Liam Smith was very confident of beating Sadam Ali, but unfortunately the
allergic reaction he suffered temporarily sidelined his plans,” said *Frank
Warren.*”Munguia looked impressive beating the former champion, but Liam
actually feels he is a better stylistic match up for him than Ali would
have been.I’m very confident Liam will be recapturing the WBO Junior
Middleweight Title and bringing it back to the UK.”

“When Jaime Munguia made his HBO debut this past May, he put the division
on notice with a spectacular knockout and captured a 154-pound title”,
said *Peter
Nelson, *Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “He looks to keep the
momentum going on July 21 as he takes on his mandatory challenger Liam
Smith, who hopes to take the title back to his native UK.”