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Guerrero wins arbitration against Goossen, may join Golden Boy

After 10 months in limbo, former two-time featherweight titleholder Robert Guerrero is free to resume his boxing career.

Guerrero won his arbitration against promoter Dan Goossen when the California Attorney General's office ruled in his favor Tuesday, according to co-manager Shelly Finkel.

"We wanted them to acknowledge that the promotional agreement had expired in May and was no longer valid, and they agreed," Finkel told ESPN.com.

Guerrero filed for arbitration in March and it took months for the case to wind its way through the system, leaving the 25-year-old's career frozen. But he said he felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders when he heard the news.

"I feel great. I have no weight holding me down," Guerrero said. "I'm excited to get back into the ring."

Guerrero, who didn't want to go into details about why he wanted to break with Goossen, his longtime promoter, said he is relieved to have the situation resolved.

"My contract was up and we wanted to explore our options, but some people want to just hold you back and hold you down," he said. "I want to just put that in my past. Close that chapter and move forward."

Finkel said Guerrero probably will sign with Golden Boy Promotions, which was planning to put him on the Dec. 6 Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao undercard had the case been decided in time.

"I've spoken to [Golden Boy CEO] Richard [Schaefer]. Golden Boy is my first choice," said Finkel, who manages several fighters promoted by De La Hoya's company. "Richard is very interested and will be very happy to get him. Robert is thrilled with the ruling. I spoke to my co-manager, Bob Santos, and he told me that when he called Robert to tell him about the ruling, he said he had already run this morning but was so happy that he was going to run again."

Guerrero, who mentioned that he'd like to face Golden Boy-promoted lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, said he'll sign wherever Finkel thinks is best.

"There's a lot of good fights out there, so whatever Shelly thinks is best for my career, we'll go that way," Guerrero said. "I can see light at the end of the tunnel and those big megafights in my future."

Goossen was unavailable for comment.

Guerrero (22-1-1, 15 KOs), of Gilroy, Calif., regained a vacant title when he went to Denmark and knocked out hometown fighter Spend Abazi in the ninth round in February 2007.

Guerrero followed with back-to-back impressive knockout victories in title defenses, a first-round destruction of Martin Honorio in November 2007 -- just a few days after his wife, Casey, was diagnosed with leukemia -- followed by an eighth-round knockout of Jason Litzau in February.

"It was frustrating staying in shape all year but not knowing what is going to happen," Guerrero said. "Coming off two great knockout wins and not being able to capitalize on them and sitting out 10 months, it was hard. I have been itching, just dying for a fight. I'm strong and ready to go. I could be ready to fight in early January."

Guerrero said the silver lining to his layoff was it allowed him to spend a lot of time with his wife, who is in remission.

"She's doing great," he said. "That was one of the things about the layoff. I got to take care of my wife and spend a lot of time with her, like going with her to doctors appointments and to her chemotherapy treatments. I got to spend a lot of time with her and make sure she is OK."

Struggling to make 126-pound featherweight limit, Guerrero vacated his title in June and plans to fight in the 130-pound junior lightweight division.

Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer.