Robert Guerrero was unanimously decisioned by RING welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May of last year, the last time he was in action.
On Friday, the 30-year-old southpaw followed the age-old adage that if you can't beat him, you join them.
Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 knockouts) signed with powerful boxing advisor Al Haymon, adding himself to a star-studded group that includes Mayweather and most of the more talented fighters at 147-pounds.
"I think that Robert's in a great position. Other than a lot of the best welterweights, Al Haymon probably has got the best fighters in the world across every division, and not just in the welterweight division," said Luis DeCubas Jr., Guerrero's co-manager with Bob Santos, in an interview with RingTV.com.
"So it's always going to be a benefit to bring Al Haymon in onto your team. I really feel that, other than Floyd Mayweather, Robert's the biggest name at 147 pounds, and he's going to beat everyone at 147-pounds until he gets that rematch with Floyd Mayweather."
Guerrero's signing comes on the heels of the same move by unbeaten junior lightweight Rances Barthelemy. Barthelemy, in turn, followed Haymon's signing of RING light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, IBF 140-pound titleholder Lamont Peterson, former RING 175-pound champ Chad Dawson and ex-welterweight beltholder Luis Collazo.
Haymon was the winner of The Cus D'Amato "Manager Of The Year" award by The Boxing Writers Association of America for 2013 and will be honored at the BWAA banquet on May 1.
Others in the stable of Haymon include Mayweather, Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse, Peter Quillin, Deontay Wilder, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Devon Alexander, Edwin Rodriguez, Paulie Malignaggi, Erislandy Lara, and Anthony Peterson.
Along with Mayweather, Garcia, Maidana, Broner, Porter, Malignaggi, Matthysse, Thurman, Alexander and Andre Berto, Guerrero ranks among the most significant names over the 140- and 147-pound divisions — all of whom are promoted by Golden Boy.
Outside of that, there are Top Rank-promoted WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez and WBO junior welterweight titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov, whose promoter, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions, has a solid working relationship with Top Rank.
"Signing with Al Haymon was a team decision, and together we feel, with no doubts, that this was the best move for my career. Team Guerrero and Team Al Haymon are united as one, and together, we are going straight to the top. Al has proven to be the most successful adviser in boxing, getting his fighters the biggest fights, and I'm thrilled to be working with him and his team," said Guerrero, in a prepared statement.
"I'm hungry and I'm ready to get back in the ring. My goals are still the same and that's to be the best fighter I can be and give the fans great performances. I want to thank Bob Santos and Luis Decubas Jr. for bringing Al Haymon on board. I also want to thank Al Haymon for bringing me on his team and supporting me on my future endeavors. I'm looking forward to being in big fights moving forward, and 2014 is going to be a great year for me. I can't wait to get back in the ring for all my fans."
Guerrero, who turns 31 on March 27, earned a career-high $3 million for his loss to Mayweather Jr., ending his seven-and-a-half-year undefeated streak. Guerrero had won 15 consecutive fights, having previously lost by a split decision to Gamaliel Dia in December 2005 only to win their rematch with a sixth-round knockout the following June.
A former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder, Guerrero entered the bout with Mayweather following consecutive unanimous decision victories over Selcuk Aydin in his 147-pound debut in July 2012 and former titleholder Berto in November 2012.
DeCubas mentioned the fact that Guerrero was arrested on March 28 of last year on a gun possession charge — a few weeks before his May 4 clash with Mayweather — as a distraction for the fighter.
Guerrero pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, paid a $250 fine, and was ordered to serve 50 hours of community service in exchange for the gun charges being dropped in mid-May.
"Obviously, there were a lot of things wrong going into the fight. Things like the gun charge, but I don't want to make excuses. We don't think that Robert was able to compete against Mayweather the way that he was able to compete. Floyd Mayweather is a great fighter, but I don't feel that the people saw the best Robert Guerrero that night," said DeCubas.
"So Robert's going to do everything in his power to run through all of these other welterweights to get back to where he wants to get back to, and that's a Floyd Mayweather rematch. Robert's 100 percent right now. Wait until you see the guy. I mean, he is shredded right now. He's in better shape, now, than he was for the Mayweather fight."
Neither DeCubas nor Haymon's right hand man, Sam Watson, were certain when Guerrero would next be in action.
"We're excited to make it official. Al Haymon's the best advisor in boxing, so the whole team is excited. We look forward to the future. He's a six-time world champion, and we look to double that in the next few years. As far as when he'll fight next, Al Haymon will handle all of that," said DeCubas, who also manages Lara.
"So we'll let him get down to business and do what he does best in getting Robert the biggest fights. So, we're just happy to bring Robert into this type of situation and to make him a part of the team and we're just excited and ready to fight. We're just ready to go, man, and whenever that's is, that's up to Al. Bob Santos is my partner, and we'll sit down, the three of us, and work out the right dates and work out the right deals, no question about it. We just want to get him back into the ring."
In early January, Guerrero sought separation from Golden Boy, which promotes nearly 100 percent of Haymon's fighters, through arbitration with the California State Athletic Commission.
Guerrero did so even as the company's CEO, Richard Schaefer, insisted that the boxer's contract remained valid and that the CSAC has no jurisdiction to make a ruling because the contract "was not signed under California law" but "under New York law."
In mid-January, the CSAC supported Golden Boy's assertion by declining to hear Guerrero's case and directing the fighter and Golden Boy to resolve their contractual issues in New York.
Neither Schaefer nor Guerrero's attorney, Bruce Zabarauskas, could be reached for an immediate comment, and DeCubas declined to discuss Guerrero's issues with Golden Boy.
"We're just ready to fight, and we'll let Al Haymon handle all of that business with Golden Boy," said DeCubas. "I don't want to comment on all of that. That's not up to me. Like I said, with Al Haymon on board, we're just ready to fight."