Advertisement
Advertisement

Leonard Sues Goossen for $1M over Andre Ward Contract

By Ryan Maquiñana

The trying year for promoter Dan Goossen continues, as longtime business partner Antonio Leonard sued him in a Texas court last week for breach of contract regarding their alleged arrangement to co-promote super middleweight world champion Andre Ward.

Law360’s Jeff Sistrunk first reported the news.

According to court documents obtained by BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com, Leonard claims that Goossen, CEO of Goossen Tutor Promotions, backed out of a 2011 oral agreement whereby the two promoters would split the revenue gathered from the live gate, foreign television sales, site fees, sponsorships, merchandising, as well as the remainder of the domestic television license fee (after expenses), from each of six Ward bouts over a period of three years.

To finalize the deal, Leonard also states that he and Goossen gave Ward a $550,000 signing bonus, and that the co-promoters covered the amount by each paying the fighter $275,000.

The first of the six fights in this purported agreement was Ward’s 10th-round stoppage of Chad Dawson in September 2012; per Leonard’s complaint, all parties “received their respective amounts due.”

However, Leonard claims his lawsuit arose when Goossen allegedly notified him that Goossen Tutor would pull out of the oral contract before the second fight -- Ward's HBO-televised unanimous decision victory over Edwin Rodriguez on Nov. 16 in Ontario , Calif.

The complaint alleges that after the fighters deducted their respective purses (Ward $1.9 million, Rodriguez $1 million according to the California State Athletic Commission), both Leonard and Goossen were slated to make around $112,500 apiece from HBO’s license fee alone.  Adding the other aforementioned revenue streams, Leonard estimated that the co-promoters ultimately would make over $287,500 each.

But according to the complaint, Goossen is not only withholding the amount in dispute from last week’s card, he is also planning to promote the remaining fights on the deal on his own.  Leonard has projected that each co-promoter would earn “an amount exceeding $850,000” if Ward goes through with his next four bouts.

As a result, Leonard has requested the Harris County District Court to require Goossen to pay Leonard his alleged share from the Rodriguez fight in addition to “50 (percent) of all funds realized from the future four Ward fights” delineated in the oral contract.  Combined with attorneys’ fees and other costs, the damages would exceed $1 million.

Ward’s relationship with Goossen began in 2004 after the fighter captured the Olympic gold medal at light heavyweight.  Ward turned pro later that year and signed a co-promotional deal with Goossen Tutor and Square Ring.  In 2008, Leonard bought out Square Ring and would appear frequently with Goossen for Ward's press conferences.

Now 27-0 with 14 knockouts, Ward has risen to the second spot in most observers’ pound-for-pound rankings as the best fighter in the world regardless of weight class.  Under the Goossen and Leonard banners, Ward has also become one of HBO’s marquee fighters since leaving rival network Showtime before the clash with Dawson.

But this summer, Ward grew unhappy with the dynamic within his team, and attempted to terminate his contract with Goossen Tutor by calling an emergency hearing with the California commission.  In a June interview with HBO’s Jim Lampley, Ward accused Goossen of acting unilaterally during contract talks with the premium cable giant .

"I simply want my co-promoter Antonio Leonard … and my trusted advisor and manager (James Prince), who, frankly, I've known long before I ever met Dan Goossen, to be at the negotiating table and in the room talking to the network and helping to negotiate my fights,” Ward said.

Despite Ward’s reasoning, the commission ruled in Goossen’s favor and upheld the contract’s validity.  In turn, the fighter, who had been inactive for 14 months due to a surgically repaired right shoulder, reconciled with the promoter and proceeded with the Rodriguez bout -- even though there was further discord during pre-fight negotiations involving Goossen and Ward’s attorney , Josh Dubin.

“Our main key here was just getting (Andre) back in the ring again,” Goossen told BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com after the fight.  “Where we go from here, I think, we got to sit down, get this ship on a firm course, and stop having the machine going in all different directions.

Unfortunately, it appears that the resolution might be short-lived.  One also must wonder what these developments mean for Ward and other fighters in the Goossen Tutor stable with ties to Leonard and Prince, such as super middleweight Brandon Gonzales (18-0-1, 10 KOs), heavyweight Bowie Tupou (22-3, 16 KOs) and junior welterweight Ricardo Williams (21-3, 11 KOs).

BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com reached Goossen via telephone Friday, but he would not comment on Leonard’s lawsuit.

Click here to read Leonard's complaint.

Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a boxing column for CSNBayArea.com.  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine's Ratings Panel. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net or follow him on Twitter @RMaq28.

Tags: Dan Goossen image   Andre Ward image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PunchyPotorff on 11-23-2013

Have you seen Goosen head on? Who in their right mind would trust that snake any further than they could throw him? Hitman932 is right, an oral agreement is fine just so you have the bases covered, but I mean…

Comment by Sugar Adam Ali on 11-23-2013

[QUOTE=Money Team.;13955907]If you have nothing written on a certified piece of paper then you have no case at all[/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Hitman932;13955927]^ You don't need a piece of paper to have a legally binding agreement. Especially in a case like this where…

Comment by turnedup on 11-23-2013

Both Arum and Schaeffer are salivating over this..if they somehow void this contract from Andre's request he'll sign with one or the other and I think it would be Top Rank since they are notorious for their huge signing bonus.…

Comment by Pound4PoundStud on 11-23-2013

[QUOTE=Hitman932;13955927]^ You don't need a piece of paper to have a legally binding agreement. Especially in a case like this where there is a money trail that proves the agreement was already in place and honored in prior fights. Plus…

Comment by Hougigo on 11-23-2013

[QUOTE=Anderson Silva;13956041]Money Team is the idiot of NSB. Its quite entertaining seeing how retarded his posts are.[/QUOTE] Buffer da boss... stop refusing it girl...

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Tommy Morrison's Son Aims To Impress on ShoBox Kovalev-Ward Deal Finalized For Vegas; Announcement Soon Anthony Joshua's Ring Return: Manchester is The Frontrunner Whyte vs. Sexton Plans Canned, Could Be Dereck Chisora Next Robert Frankel Ready: Jose Felix is a Very Winnable Fight Casimero Training Very Hard For Edwards, Says Promoter Hearn Hopeful For Callum Johnson Commonwealth Challenge Golovkin's Coach: Eubank Sr. Telling Lies, Must Come To His Senses Vargas Confident: I Really Think I'm Knocking Manny Pacquiao Out! Golovkin: This is Different, I'm Not Doing What Canelo Did! Frank Warren on Eubank vs. Langford, Flanagan's Options Edwards Confident of Shocking Casimero on Golovkin vs. Brook Con Sheehan Signs With MGM, Will Fight Twice In A Week LaRon Mitchell Goes The Distance, Danny Roman Wins Mikaela Lauren Promises To Drill Klara Svensson For The Count Macklin Warns Brook: Golovkin is Smart, Don't Let Him Read You Jacobs: I'll Fight Golovkin Before Canelo Does - For Right Money Muhammad Ali Center Looks To The Future Without The Champ Frank Warren Throws Water on Joshua's Claim of Joyce Robbery Canelo Pleased To Reclaim Mexican Dates From Mayweather Deontay Wilder, Jarrell Miller Explodes - Heated Confrontation! Photos: Marriaga vs. Robb, Felix vs. Frankel - UniMas Weights Photos: Lucian Bute Putting in Work, Eager To Resume Career Brandon Rios' Manager: Top Rank Contract Ends in December Smith: Canelo Had To Go To 154 To Save Face Over Golovkin! Photos: Robert Guerrero, Alfredo Angulo, Terrell Gausha Ready Hands of Stone - Ramirez Credits Roberto Duran as Mentor Gilberto Ramirez Starts Next Stage, Aims To Return By Year's End Murat Gassiev: Lebedev Improved A lot Since Hiring Roach Abel Ramos faces veteran Juan Jesus Rivera in Phoenix, Arizona Chisora's Coach: Joshua is Better Than Fury, But Haye Beats Him Ishe Smith Discusses Training Camp, Fighting Frank Galarza Shakur Stevenson, Nico Hernandez To Get Honored at Home Smith: Canelo Ducked Golovkin, Talk of Pacquiao is Embarrassing! Mayweather Promotions' Titans of the Trade on September 17 Eubank Jr: Saunders is Extremely Boring, I Want 50-50 For Rematch Karim Mayfield Vents Over Bakhtiyar Eyubov Loss, Wants Rematch Marrero Reflects on Latest Win, Remains in Pursuit of Zambrano Burns-Relikh Title Fight Confirmed For October 7 in Glasgow Demetrius Andrade Ready For Culcay in Germany, SHO on Board?
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement