Goossen wins arbitration dispute against Ward

Is Andre Ward seeking superfight with Chavez Jr.?

Goossen wins arbitration dispute against Ward
June 28, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) was attempting to break away from Goossen and Goossen Tutor Promotions. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The California State Athletic Commission upheld Dan Goossen’s promotional contract with super middleweight champion Andre Ward on Friday following an arbitration hearing in Los Angeles.

Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) was attempting to break away from Goossen and Goossen Tutor Promotions, the company that initially signed him in 2004 when the Oakland native won Olympic gold and turned pro.  In 2011, Ward signed a multiyear extension with Goossen, but terms were not disclosed.  However, the business relationship had soured to the point where Ward was seeking a release from his contract and called for an emergency hearing.

Rewind: [Andre Ward, Goossen parting ways?]

“We've enjoyed a very honorable and successful relationship with Andre Ward and I can only hope having to go through this whole legal process will only strengthen our relationship moving forward,” Goossen said in a statement.  “I've said for years that he had the talent--both in and out of the ring--possessed by the other greats before him such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya and, of course, Floyd Mayweather.”

A representative of Ward’s team was not immediately available for comment, but the fighter released a statement on Monday night that expressed his displeasure with Goossen for allegedly unilaterally negotiating with premium cable network HBO without the presence of his manager James Prince or co-promoter Antonio Leonard.

“Goossen had various opportunities to meet with HBO, and to interact with my manager,” Ward said. “He refused and otherwise did not respond to my team regarding these important business dealings concerning my career.
“I defer to my manager and our attorneys regarding our request to terminate the Promotional Agreement and the blatant violation of specific Commission Rules that are in place to protect boxers from unauthorized actions of licensed promoters.”

Prince was in accord with his client’s sentiment.

“It is absolutely crazy to me that this man would stand in the way of Andre's boxing career and his next title defense, and not respect Andre's request that his co-promoter and manager be part of those discussions,” Prince said.

All parties were present for the actual hearing that occurred on Tuesday afternoon, which was held before the commission and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Karen Chappelle. Ward was represented by attorney Richard Dwyer, while Michael Goossen and Benjamin Reder made up the legal team for Goossen Tutor.

“Now I look forward to getting back to promoting Andre's next bout, as well as helping him become the number one fighter in the sport,” said Goossen, who had initially targeted a September return date for Ward.