Belfast's Ryan Burnett has signed a deal with Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing, as he plans to navigate his way back into world title contention.
The Irishman, a former unified bantamweight world champion, will return to the ring on May 17 for the first time since losing to Nonito Donaire back in November
The 26-year-old will, however, be stepping up in weight when he fights Jelbirt Gomera in his hometown.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) April 29, 2019
The loss to Donaire was the first blip in 20 professional fights for Burnett, though there was a element of misfortune as the Northern Irishman injured his back and was unable to reemerge for the fifth round of the bout.
His move up in weight opens up the possibility of an encounter with TJ Doheny down the line, after the Laois man lost his world title to Daniel Roman over the weekend.
In a statement announcing his move to the American promoter from Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport, Burnett said:
It is a dream come true to sign with Top Rank. I've spent years learning and perfecting my craft, becoming world champion and then unified world champion. On May 17, I begin my quest to become world champion again.
Teaming up with the biggest players in the game in Top Rank, ESPN and MTK Global will only strengthen my drive and determination to achieve this. With these guys behind me, there's only one way ahead for me, and that's straight to the top
Burnett is following in the footsteps of Michael Conlan by signing for Top Rank, after the former Olympic silver medallist signed with the legendary American promoter after the 2016 Olympics.
The new addition to the roster, though, clearly isn't in a mood for wasting much time. When he returns to the ring next month, The vacant WBC International belt will be on the line .