Liam Smith's upcoming world title shot will have to wait for a little while longer.
In a press release on promoter Frank Warren's official website, Smith cited an illness he received which prevented him from training for more than a week and thus, won't be able to participate in the fight. The fight was supposed to be for Ali's WBO junior middleweight title and was going to headline an HBO boxing telecast from New York.
"I’m bitterly disappointed that I have been forced to postpone my fight with Sadam Ali to a later date. A recent illness has severely impacted on my training schedule, leaving me with no choice but to postponed the May 12th date," Smith said.
Ali has not been taken out of the card and Smith said if Ali does not fight in May, then he should be ready to go in June. In the meantime, one fighter has offered himself as a potential replacement for Ali: WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo. Charlo is currently scheduled to defend his title against Austin Trout on the Showtime-televised card on June 9. Below is Charlo's tweet saying he would come in and replace Ali.
Ali won the title last December when he retired former four-division champion Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden. Smith won his way to a world title shot when he defeated Liam Williams back in November. Smith previously held the WBO title from 2015 to 2016 and lost the title to Canelo Alvarez on pay-per-view.
One other world title fight is scheduled to take place on the HBO card in New York. Rey Vargas, who has not fought since last December, will defend his WBC super bantamweight title against Azat Hovhannisyan.