The junior welterweight who was supposed to fight Teofimo Lopez on Saturday night and the undefeated contender who most wanted to oppose Lopez at Madison Square Garden have agreed to fight each other. has confirmed that Jose Pedraza and Arnold Barboza Jr. will square off February 3 in the co-feature before two-division champions Oscar Valdez and Emanuel Navarrete meet in the main event that night. ESPN will broadcast both bouts from Desert Diamond Arena in Tucson, Arizona.’s Mike Coppinger first reported Thursday night that a deal for the Pedraza-Barboza bout was finalized.

Barboza (27-0, 10 KOs), of South El Monte, California, will face the most accomplished opponent of his career in Puerto Rico’s Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs). Pedraza has lost a 12-round unanimous decision to former WBC/WBO 140-pound champion Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) and settled for a 10-round split draw with ex-IBF lightweight champ Richard Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs) in his past two fights, but the former IBF junior lightweight and WBO lightweight champion was still supposed to face Lopez in ESPN’s main event Saturday night.

Pedraza, 33, withdrew from the Lopez fight 3½ weeks ago after contracting an undisclosed illness while training. Spanish southpaw Sandor Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) replaced Pedraza and will battle the Brooklyn-born Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round WBC elimination match, the headliner of a four-bout broadcast set to begin at 9 p.m. ET.

The 31-year-old Barboza called out Lopez yet again following his most recent win July 15. He was not considered for Lopez’s second junior welterweight fight, however, after Barboza beat Puerto Rico’s Danielito Zorrilla (16-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder ESPN aired from Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs), of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, and Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs), of Nogales, Mexico, will fight for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title in the 12-round main event February 3.

Valdez, 31, failed to win that same WBO 130-pound championship against Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) in their title unification fight April 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Stevenson surrendered the WBC crown he won from Valdez and the WBO belt at the scale by coming in overweight for his next fight, another 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) on September 23 at Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.