Liam Smith to fight Sadam Ali

Liam Smith (l) beat Liam Williams back in April
Liam Smith (l) beat Liam Williams back in April

Liam Smith is to challenge Sadam Ali for the WBO light-middleweight title he once held at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York State on May 12.

The 29-year-old, from Liverpool, lost it when being stopped by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in 2016 but has since responded with three successive victories.

New York's Ali, also 29, caused one of the upsets of 2017 when winning his world title by ending the career of the once-great Miguel Cotto in December, and on May 12 makes his first defence.

"I'm looking forward to pitting myself against a good fighter, a former Olympian and now world champion who is coming off the back of a good win against Miguel Cotto," Smith said.

"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."

Ali, from Brooklyn, said: "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."

Smith's promoter Frank Warren had vowed to deliver a world-title shot to the winner of November's rematch between Smith and Wales' Liam Williams, and he said: "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 Alvarez, Liam said he would be a world champion again, and on May 12 he will deliver."

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