Leo Santa Cruz will have the opportunity to avenge his only loss, to Northern Ireland's new featherweight champion Carl Frampton, Jan. 28, Frampton manager Barry McGuigan first reported Thursday, with others later confirming the news.
The bout, to be televised by Showtime, will be fought at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, one source familiar with the talks told The Times on Thursday.
The card's co-main event will be the World Boxing Council lightweight title defense featuring Riverside challenger Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 knockouts) and Montenegro's champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs), who claimed the belt in June.
Los Angeles' three-division champion Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 knockouts) lost his World Boxing Assn. belt to Frampton by majority decision on July 30 at Barclays Center in New York and immediately sought a rematch for his next bout.
Manager Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions slowed in making fights in the fourth quarter of this year, citing a highly competitive television landscape that includes college football and Major League Baseball playoffs, while some speculated PBC was running low on cash.
Instead of fitting in a fight in December, when arenas throughout the West have been increasingly booked on Saturday nights, PBC has placed Frampton-Santa Cruz in 2017.
Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) was relentless and rugged in defeating Santa Cruz, backing him to the ropes in the second round and landing the more effective scoring punches to win by scores of 114-114, 116-112, 117-111 before a raucous Irish-heavy crowd.