August 24th 2015

Frank Warren

Frank Warren Promotions:
Re: Vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight Championship Bout

Liam Smith vs. John Thompson

Dear Mr. Warren:

The WBO World Championship Committee has been made aware that negotiations for a match in Manchester, England on October 10, 2015 between Liam Smith and Michel Soro for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Championship of the World started three weeks ago, but despite Top Rank agreeing to the terms, Soro and his managers have repeatedly made strong public statements suggesting that they are at odds with his promoter over the terms presented to them.

We are also aware that in light of assurances that an agreement would be reached, tickets went on sale and your company contracted with numerous suppliers, etc. This situation, ongoing for weeks, has had a detrimental effect on the promotion of the event promotion with the public uncertain as to who Smith’s opponent will be and whether the fight will take place at all.

Given Michel Soro’s dispute with his Promoter and the power and discretion afforded to us by Section 1 (b) 19 of the WBO Regulations for World Championship Contest to determine the contestants for a Vacant Championship, we have decided to proceed pursuant to Section 20 (PROCEDURE WHEN A TITLE IS DECLARED VACANT) and declare John Thompson the “Best Classified Contender Available.”

For the above reasons, we are formally granting permission for Liam Smith to fight John Thompson for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Championship of the World.

This determination of the WBO World Championship Committee to allow Thompson to replace Soro will not adversely affect Soro’s position within the WBO World Championship Ratings.

Yours truly,

(Signed by:  Luis Batista Salas, Esq. Chairman)

cc:  Top Rank, Michael Borao, Omrani Raycal, Che Guevara, Francisco Valcarcel Esq.


By Lou McLaughlin at ringside / Credit:  Photos by Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

WBO #10 jr middleweight Michel Soro (26-1-1, 16 KOs) scored a fourth round TKO over hometown favorite WBO #2, IBF #5 jr middleweight Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-2, 15 KOs) on Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. After three good rounds, Soro rocked Tapia with a barrage of punches in round four and referee David Fields waved it off at 2:10. Soro claimed the NABO and USBA junior middleweight titles.

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Michel Soro went to enemy territory and stopped the hometown fighter, while Seanie Monaghan stayed unbeaten in the co-feature.

Credit:  Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank – Article by:  Scott Christ –

After a quick start in round one, Glen Tapia got figured out, and Michel Soro wound up stopping the hometown fighter tonight in Newark, scoring a TKO victory at 2:10 of round four on truTV’s Friday Night Knockout.

Soro (26-1-1, 16 KO) endured a rush from Tapia at the start of the fight, and by the second round seemed to have his opponent solved, as he began to land clean and hard counter shots, digging to the body at moments, and controlling everything behind his jab.

Tapia (23-2, 15 KO) struggled a bit with Soro’s movement, too, but he stayed active, throwing a lot of punches, though most of them were coming up well short. His body attacks when he did pin Soro to the ropes were fended off by Soro, who ate a lot of the shots with his elbows, and then was able to effectively fight or simply move out of any trouble.

The second and third rounds went to Soro, and in the fourth, he clipped an aggressive Tapia with a right hand that badly hurt the New Jersey native, sending him wobbling around the ring. He made his way to the ropes, where he kept attempting to grab and survive, but Soro would have none of it, and continued to land shots as he threw in bunches looking to put the fight away. A final left hook forced referee David Fields to stop the contest.

Soro, 27 and fighting out of France by way of Côte d’Ivoire, gets the biggest win of his career with this one, while Tapia, 25, takes a major step back. He’d won three straight after being mauled by James Kirkland in December 2013, but he looked a little outclassed in this one.

Seanie Monaghan stayed undefeated in the co-feature, surviving a late rally by Brazil’s Cleiton Conceiçāo to win on scores of 98-92, 98-92, and 99-91. BLH had it 97-93 for Monaghan (23-0, 15 KO), giving the final three rounds to Conceiçāo, a 2000 Olympian. truTV’s Ray Mancini had it 96-94 for Monaghan, and it’s pretty clear the scores were a bit wider than they should have been, but Monaghan definitely deserved the victory.

Soro landed 74 of 171 punches for a 43% connect rate, compared to 75 of 313 (24%) for Tapia.