Jessie Vargas and Liam Smith have agreed to terms for a 154-pound fight on Jan. 28 or Jan. 29 in Las Vegas that will headline Matchroom Boxing on DAZN, multiple sources tell ESPN.
The matchup of former champions has been discussed for over a year but finally comes to fruition on the heels of Smith's knockout of Anthony Fowler last month.
"It's a fight I've wanted for some time and one I'm very confident of winning in style," Smith told ESPN.
The 33-year-old Smith suffered a controversial decision loss to Magomed Kurbanov in May before rebounding with the win over Fowler to set up another meaningful fight on the world level.
One of four fighting brothers from Liverpool, England, Smith made two defenses of his 154-pound title before he was stopped by Canelo Alvarez in 2016. Liam's younger brother, Callum, was outpointed by Alvarez in December.
While Smith (30-3-1, 17 KOs) fought twice this year, Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) will end a career-long 23-month layoff when he returns. The Las Vegas native dropped a decision to Mikey Garcia in that February 2020 bout at welterweight, and will now gear up for a title chase in a third weight class.
The 32-year-old won titles at 140 pounds and 147, but will make his 154-pound debut against Smith.
Earlier this month, Vargas announced he's campaigning as a republican for Nevada's Fourth U.S. Congressional District. The primary is in June with the election to follow in November.
"We need change, and it starts with proper leaders who will look out for the best interest of their constituents," Vargas told ESPN. "Representing my community is my No. 1 priority. It's the fight that matters to me!"
Before then, he has another fight to worry about, and a win could help launch his campaign.