“Million Dollar” Crolla, 30, will again have hometown advantage at Manchester Arena when he challenges the top class Venezuelan.
The first fought in September when Linares won on points after 12 torrid rounds, that saw Linares collect the WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring magazine world lightweight titles.
Linares, 31, was also offered a unification against WBO champion Terry Flanagan, but Crolla’s promoter Eddie Hearn was quick to exercise a rematch clause.
The 30 year old is delighted to get a second crack at the classy Linares, and believes he’s better placed to regain his title following their first meeting.
Crolla said: “There had been lots of talk on the rematch since the first fight with Jorge so I’m delighted to finally get this announced.
“I’ve been in the gym right the way up to Christmas even though the fight is a little bit of a while off. I’m working hard and making improvements, I will have to show improvements in the rematch if I am to win. I came up short on the night against the better man – with those improvements I believe I can change the result this time around.
“I see Jorge as the best Lightweight in the world and I want to be the best Lightweight in the world. It is always up for discussion that label of course, he is seen as the man at the moment and I want to test myself against the very best, even though I have already been in with him. These are the fights that I want to be involved in.
“No excuses from me from the first fight, I had a great camp – I came up short against a great fighter. I thought the fight itself was going well, I felt like I was in control up until the sixth round, he caught me with a great shot and buzzed me. I felt that in the next round it took a bit of zap out of my punches and legs. Fair play to Linares he used his experience and won the last few rounds, which is usually what I do!
“I’ve got to be in these big fights now. The last four fights have been the biggest fights of my career, all tough opponents. I’m up for this big nights and people start expecting them. The motivation is always there for me, walking out at that arena with that crowd – it’s the level I feel I’m at now.
“The better the opponent, the better I will perform. I’m approving still as a fighter and athlete despite turning 30 recently. I want to be remembered as being someone who took on the best around and being mentioned in the same breath as them.”