Super-featherweight champion Francisco Vargas won his belt in November with a fight-of-the-year victory, and his June 4 opponent at StubHub Center in Carson should ensure there will be a repeat entry for the honor.
Mexico's Orlando Salido signed Friday, his manager Sean Gibbons told The Times, setting the stage for a slugfest between the Mexican fighters in a bout HBO will televise.
Vargas (23-0-1, 17 knockouts) got off the canvas and survived a nasty cut Nov. 21 to take away Takashi Miura's World Boxing Council super-featherweight belt at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
In Salido (43-13-3, 30 KOs), he'll meet a former featherweight world-champion brawler who staged two epic bouts last year with Puerto Rico's Roman Martinez. Salido appeared to have won the rematch in September, but judges scored it a draw, and Martinez didn't come to terms for a rematch.
Gibbons said a final negotiating point on co-promoting the rematch should Salido win was settled to allow for the deal.
"We're the challenger, even though we're the more famous, more accomplished fighter," Gibbons said. "We're taking less to get something done, but when we win, we want to be treated as the 'A' side.
"Orlando's stoked. At 35, to fight on HBO … he's had a storied career and it's like putting icing on the cake, like an old ballplayer getting picked up later in his career by a team and showing he still has a lot of gas left in the tank.
"This fight is a matchmaker's dream come true."
The card will be titled "Main Event," a nod to Salido's landing a headline billing after years of fighting under others.