The four-time, three-weight world champion hits the road yet again in a bid to retain his position as a recognized title holder but says he expects a sterner challenge from Crolla following his points win last September.
“It’s a new year and a new day. Anthony is going to be better and hungrier, and that means I will work harder, come with more skill and an even better game plan to win,” said Linares.
“I hope to see another huge crowd in Manchester and we’re going to provide the fans with another beautiful fight.
“The belts mean so much to me and my country, and I am going to work very hard to make sure that I take them home again,” he added.
Another win for Linares sets up a potentially huge unification with Mikey Garcia in the second quarter of 2017 and the WBC have already stipulated the pair must meet should the 31 year-old be victorious.
Many neutral fans would relish seeing Linares and Garcia compete for two world titles, although Crolla will have other ideas and will be hoping to scupper those plans.
Linares begins the favorite to inflict a sixth career defeat on Crolla in the Briton’s hometown in what will be a 45th professional outing for ‘The Golden Boy’ in just over seven weeks’ time.