Sandor Martin has agreed to a deal to fight former lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez on Dec. 10 in New York, sources told ESPN.
Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) replaces Jose Pedraza, who withdrew from the 140-pound Top Rank on ESPN bout with a non-COVID illness.
Martin, a 29-year-old Spaniard, scored a career-best win last year with a major upset of Mikey Garcia. Martin had never competed outside Europe but traveled to California as a 10-1 underdog to defeat Garcia, a former four-division champion, via majority decision. Garcia announced his retirement afterward.
Now, Martin has parlayed that victory into another career-defining opportunity. He was considered for the Lopez assignment before Pedraza landed the fight, but he remained in training.
A tricky boxer with an impressive jab, Martin will once again be facing long odds.
Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) was recognized as one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters before he dropped a decision to George Kambosos last November in ESPN’s upset of the year. It was later revealed that Lopez fought Kambosos with a slight esophageal tear.
Lopez, a 25-year-old who fights out of Las Vegas, returned from his first defeat in August with a seventh-round TKO over Pedro Campa in his 140-pound debut. His 135-pound campaign included a victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko to capture the undisputed lightweight championship.
This will be Lopez’s third fight following ESPN’s annual coverage of the Heisman Trophy presentation. He’s rated No. 9 at junior welterweight.