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Jessie Vargas' new foe: Steve Forbes

Welterweight prospect and Floyd Mayweather Jr. protege Jessie Vargas got a new opponent on Thursday -- former junior lightweight titlist Steve Forbes.

The fight will be one of the featured bouts on the Mayweather-Miguel Cotto HBO PPV card on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Vargas was supposed to face two-time world title challenger Alfonso Gomez in the scheduled 10-round bout. However, Gomez (23-5-2, 12 KOs) was forced to withdraw from the fight this week because of a severe case of back spasms.

Forbes, who has trained in Mayweather's camps over the years and had a recent fight canceled when his opponent failed a pre-fight medical exam, was ready and willing to step in on short notice.

"I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to fight on the May 5 fight card," Forbes said. "It is an honor to be on the same card with such great champions. I am not going to overlook Jessie. We both have a lot riding on this fight and I look forward to showing him what I have in the ring."

Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs), a 22-year-old from Las Vegas who moved up to welterweight earlier this year, will be fighting on his second consecutive Mayweather pay-per-view undercard.

Forbes (35-10, 11 KO's), 35, who held a 130-pound title from 2000-01 and made it to the final of the 2006 edition of "The Contender," has struggled badly in recent years. He has lost two fights in row, including a 10th-round knockout loss to Karim Mayfield in his last fight last June, and seven of his last 10 dating to "The Contender" final against Grady Brewer.