Jessie Vargas and Liam Smith officially have a new date and a new site for their junior middleweight match. has learned that they will now fight February 5 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The co-feature of that show is a 115-pound rematch between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras.

Promoter Eddie Hearn intended to stage this card January 29 at The Chelsea, a cozy venue inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Once DAZN and Matchroom determined that the date would change to February 5, the site switched from Las Vegas to the Phoenix area because Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions has reserved Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena for a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event February 5 that’ll feature former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman and Mario Barrios in the main event.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission preferred for there not to be two boxing shows to regulate on the same night in Las Vegas for logistical reasons.

Las Vegas’ Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) and Liverpool’s Smith (30-3-1, 17 KOs) will meet in a proverbial crossroads bout.

Vargas, 32, will end nearly a two-year layoff when he faces Smith. The former WBO welterweight and WBA super lightweight champion hasn’t boxed since Mikey Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs) beat him by unanimous decision in their 12-round welterweight bout in February 2020 at Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility, in Frisco, Texas.

Vargas, who recently announced his campaign for a Nevada congressional seat, will make his debut as a full-fledged junior middleweight against Smith.

The 33-year-old Smith, meanwhile, will fight for the third time in less than nine months when he squares off versus Vargas. The former WBO junior middleweight champion bounced back from a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Russia’s Magomed Kurbanov (22-0, 13 KOs) on May 7 in Ekaterinburg, Russia, by stopping local rival Anthony Fowler (15-2, 12 KOs) in the eighth round October 9 at Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs) and Mexico’s Cuadras (39-4-1, 27 KOs) are set to square off in a 12-round, 115-pound title fight that the WBC mandated for its world super flyweight title. Cuadras defeated Sor Rungvisai by technical decision in a fight for that same championship in May 2014 in Mexico City.

Juan Francisco Estrada is the WBC’s legitimate super flyweight champion, but he was elevated to “franchise” champion by the WBC to allow him to fight rival Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez next in a 12-round rubber match, rather than making a mandated defense versus Sor Rungvisai. The third bout between Mexico’s Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) and Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) is set for March 5 at Pechanga Arena in San Diego.

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