WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs) will fight former three-weight world champion Jorge Linares (40-3, 27 KOs) on September 24 at the Manchester Arena, England.
The Manchester fighter will make the second defence of his belt in front of his home fans against Venezuelan Linares, who was stripped of the WBC lightweight title earlier this year due to injury.
Crolla, 29, is coming off a knockout victory over Ismael Barroso in May, having dethroned Darleys Perez with another body shot knockout in November.
Linares, 30, who has also held world titles at featherweight and super featherweight, will put a WBC Diamond belt on the line against Crolla. According to WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, the winner of Crolla-Linares will then face newly crowned WBC champion Dejan Zlaticanin.
Crolla said: “Jorge is a fantastic fighter and it’s another mountain to climb, but these are the tests that I thrive on and I’ve beaten two great fighters in Perez and Barroso and I’m confident that I can beat Jorge too.
“I’m having to pinch myself after everything that’s happened. I’m fighting the No. 1 fighter in the division. It doesn’t get any better than this. I’m very proud and privileged to be able to bring this fight to Manchester.
“Linares is a great champion but these are the fights you want to be in boxing for. He looked well against Ivan Cano last time out but he hasn’t been very active, whereas I’m coming off a career-best performance over Ismael Barroso. I really believe I’m coming into this fight in the form of my career.”
Linares said: “Crolla is a very strong contender and I know with both our passions for the sport will deliver an exciting fight for all the fans in Manchester. I know that Crolla is coming off a victory against my fellow Venezuelan countryman, so I am coming in with a lot of determination, pride and hunger for a victory.”