By Luis Sandoval
Andre Ward’s promotional struggles continue as the undefeated Super Middleweight is trying to break free from current promoter Goossen Tutor who he’s been with since his professional debut. Ward has a pending lawsuit against Goossen Tutor that was filed in California Superior court. An arbitration hearing held by the California State Athletic Commission this past Thursday found Ward’s promotional contract with Goossen to be valid until November 8, 2016 but Ward is still pursuing his court case.
Despite the lawsuit, Ward informs that he is still free to make fights and work with his promoter but the problem is he has not received an offer since December of last year. Five months later Ward is on the sidelines and frustrated with his current situation.
“I want to be in the ring more than anybody else wants me in the ring. This is literally how I feed my family. I just turned 30 years old. I’m entering the prime of my career. This isn’t a lawsuit where the judge has put a mandate or stipulation where I can’t fight. That’s not the case. There was a lawsuit filed in Superior Court and then an email that followed that said hey, let’s continue to do this mutually. Let’s work together, it was agreed, so let’s do it. And there’s been a multitude of emails going back and forth, a lot of games being played but the reality of the situation is not one offer [has been made],” Ward would tell BoxingScene and other reporters.
Ward was last seen in the ring in November when he defeated Edwin Rodriguez and has not been able to secure a follow up fight. This inactivity is on the heels of him being out a year due to a shoulder injury which means he’s only fought twice in almost 2 and half years.
Andre was asked if Goossen has tried to at least pursue fights for him since his last bout and while Ward says some names were mentioned, Goossen never delivered a fight.
“[Dan Goossen] pursued some fights, but he hasn’t been able [to deliver]. He tried to dig up Mikkel Kessler in Denmark. We said okay, make us an offer. He came back [and said] the offer is not satisfactory, I can’t offer you this. I’m going to pursue this fight in the states. Got another offer from the network and its way too low. He killed it. [He said] we can’t do this but I’ll continue to look. We waited, we waited, we waited,” said Ward.
“We got another email with 4 names on it: Sakio Bika, Anthony Dirrell, James DeGale and the Russian [who] I can’t even begin to pronounce his name but he’s the guy who is the regular champion for the WBA. And he said if these names are okay, we’ll get a deal done immediately. [We said] make us an offer, we want to fight, we want to get back in there. And as you guys know, those fights aren’t steps forward, they’re steps backwards. But still, make us an offer. Nothing. There hasn’t been one offer since December. That’s the reality of the situation”.
Ward does find solace in the fact that he’s not the first fighter to go through a similar situation as Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins at one point looked to break free from their promoters and were successful. In fact, Hopkins’ lawsuit was also filed against Ward’s current promoter Dan Goossen.
Both Hopkins and Mayweather offered Ward advice and support when they saw him in Las Vegas, NV this past Saturday which Ward said he truly appreciated. Ward is hopeful a deal for a fight can be reached soon as he does not want to sit out the rest of this year especially considering both sides agreed to still work together during the lawsuit.
“Again it’s tough because we have a litigation right now but we’re supposed to be fighting. It’s kind of tough. It’s not like we’re on the sidelines until this lawsuit is [over]. No, we’re supposed to be fighting”.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007.