Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14KOs) has fought his way back to become the the No.1 contender for the WBO 154lb title after three consecutive victories.
The Liverpudlian will attemp to recapture the WBO title against current champion Sadam Ali (26-1, 14KOs). The bout will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y on May 12 and will be aired on HBO and although not yet confirmed I am sure the fight will also be available to the British public on BoxNation.
This will be the first defence of Sadam Ali’s WBO light-middleweight strap since his upset victory over future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto last year.
“It felt great to accomplish my dream of becoming world champion. I’m excited to defend my title and to demonstrate that it is not up for grabs. Liam Smith is a great fighter and I’m sure he’ll be ready, but so will I.” Said the former US Olympican.
Smith lost his title in 2016 against Saul Canelo Álvarez but has recovered well with two hard fought wins over Welshman Liam Williams.
“I’m very happy that we’ve got this fight. I’m looking forward to pitting myself against a good fighter in Sadam Ali, a former Olympian and now world champion who is coming off the back of a good win against Miguel Cotto. I’m confident going into this fight. I know I’m naturally the bigger man, and that will come into play, especially in the type of fight that I think it will be.”
The 29-year-old from Brooklyn, NY is currently being guided by Golden Boy Promotions and their CEO Óscar De La Hoya said;
“Sadam Ali climbed onto the world championship stage with one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he snatched the WBO junior-middleweight world title from four-division, six-time world champion, and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden. Being in the ring with a hungry fighter with a world championship belt on his resume like Liam Smith will be nothing new to Ali. Sadam will prove yet again he’s someone to watch out for in the division.”
On the other hand, Liam Smith’s promoter Frank Warren is backing his fighter to retain the title, he said;
“This is Liam’s chance to reclaim his world title. He’s come through two hard fights against Liam Williams to earn his shot, and he’s done what he set out to do. When he lost his belt against Canelo Alvarez, Liam said he would be a world champion again, and on May 12 he will deliver on that promise.”
The 154lb division is starting to get interesting with the emergence of Kell Brook who I am sure will be taking a keen interest. If Smith is successful I can see the 29-year-old making a first defence in an all English dust-up later this year.