Junior welterweight Jessie Vargas will make the second defense of his title when he faces former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco on Nov. 22 in Macau, China, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum announced.
The fight will open the televised portion of the HBO PPV card headlined by welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) defending against Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao.
Vargas will be making the second defense of his secondary title -- Danny Garcia is the champion -- and will be facing his third consecutive left-hander.
Vargas claimed the belt by winning a somewhat controversial decision against Khabib Allakhverdiev of Russia on April 12 on the undercard of Pacquiao's rematch with Timothy Bradley Jr. Vargas made his initial defense on Aug. 2, outpointing another Russian southpaw, then-undefeated Anton Novikov, in an exciting fight.
Now Vargas (25-0, 9 KOs), 25, of Las Vegas, has DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 KOs), 28, of Mexico, to deal with.
"My opponent Antonio Demarco is a tough, rugged fighter who comes to fight," Vargas said. "I know this will be a fight that fans throughout the world will enjoy. This is very exciting for our team to be part of an event of this magnitude. I plan on bringing my world title belt back to Las Vegas."
Since getting knocked out in the eighth round and losing his lightweight world title to Adrien Broner in November 2012, DeMarco has won three fights in a row, all as a welterweight.
He is coming off a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision against Lanardo Tyner on Aug. 23, a fight in which DeMarco got knocked down in the first round but dominated the rest of the way.
Arum told ESPN.com that he considered various other matches for the opening slot on the pay-per-view -- including one involving up-and-coming Mexican super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez (29-0, 23 KOs) -- but decided on Vargas-DeMarco, hoping their Mexican background would help with pay-per-view sales.
"I called (Vargas manager) Cameron Dunkin and asked whether Jessie wanted to be on the card and he said, 'Absolutely,' and I asked if he would fight Antonio DeMarco," Arum said. "He got back to me and said yes. DeMarco is (promoted by) my good friend Fernando Beltran and closed the deal with both fighters. It was simple. It just made sense.
"It helps us (with the pay-per-view) because Jessie has a fan base in Las Vegas, which is a good pay-per-view market, and DeMarco gets a lot of publicity in Mexico. He's not Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or Canelo Alvarez in terms of popularity, but he's a Mexican fighter and a highly respected one at that. And besides that, it really shapes up like a good fight in the ring."
The other televised undercard fights have been set for a couple of weeks.
Featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO) of Ukraine, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, will make his first defense against mandatory challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (52-1, 33 KOs) of Thailand and Chinese flyweight star Zou Shiming (5-0, 1 KO), the three-time Olympic medalist (including back-to-back gold medals in 2008 and 2012) and the face of Chinese professional boxing, will square off with Thailand's Kwanpichit 13 Rien Express (27-0-2, 12 KOs) for the right to become the mandatory challenger for flyweight world titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada.