Former champ Guillermo Rigondeaux plans January return

Former junior featherweight world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, out of the ring for a year, is planning a return.

Rigondeaux recently signed with adviser and Premier Boxing Champions boss Al Haymon and will fight on a PBC card to be determined in January, co-manager Alex Bornote told ESPN on Wednesday.

Rigondeaux, 38, a two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist fighting out of Miami, has not boxed since Dec. 9, 2017. That is when he moved up two weight classes to challenge then-junior lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in a high-profile Top Rank on ESPN card in New York that was the first fight between two-time Olympic gold medalists.

Lomachenko easily dominated and outclassed Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs), who took his first defeat when he quit on his stool after the sixth round, claiming a hand injury.

Not long after the fight, Roc Nation Sports reached an amicable deal for Rigondeaux to be released from his promotional contract.

Bornote said they have since brought on Luis DeCubas Jr., who is very close to Haymon, as a co-manager.

Bornote said initially the plan was for Rigondeaux to fight on the Dec. 22 PBC on Fox undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Instead, he will fight on one of the January shows.

PBC has three cards scheduled in January: a Jan. 13 card on Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles headlined by Jose Uzcategui's mandatory super middleweight title defense against Caleb Plant; the Jan. 19 Showtime PPV card headlined by Manny Pacquiao defending his welterweight belt against Adrien Broner; and a Jan. 26 Fox card at Barclays Center headlined by welterweight titlist Keith Thurman against Josesito Lopez.

"Rigo is training and he will be on one of those January shows," Bornote said.

He added that although Rigondeaux fought as a junior lightweight in his last fight, he is returning to the 122-pound junior featherweight division.