by Rick Reeno
As previously reported last week on BoxingScene.com, super middleweight champion Andre Ward filed a lawsuit in federal court against his promoter Dan Goossen and his Goossen Tutor Promotions. The lawsuit - filed in U.S. District Court [Northern District of California, Oakland Division] - alleges violations of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.
Ward is accusing Goossen of violating the Ali Act by not making timely disclosures between 2004 and 2012 of all compensation or consideration Goossen was receiving from or in relation to the fight. He also accused Goossen of not making timely disclosures of any purse reductions, charges and expenses that would be coming out of Ward’s pay.
The lawsuit claims as examples that Goossen had not complied with the Ali Act disclosures prior to being paid for Ward’s fights with Sakio Bika in 2010, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch in 2011, and Chad Dawson in 2012.
What bothers Ward, with respect to the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, is the lack of enforcement with the criminal prosecution of any individuals found violating the 'financial disclosure provision.'
The undefeated boxer is urging the United States Attorneys Office to launch a criminal investigation on Goossen as it relates to the claimed violations 'financial disclosure provision.
"I strongly encourage the United States Attorneys Office to investigate what my team and I feel are flagrant violations of the financial disclosure provisions of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act by Dan Goossen and Goossen Tutor Promotions. The financial disclosure provision is the only part of the statute that carries potential criminal liability, but many promoters do not take it seriously because it is not enforced. As a professional prize fighter, I feel I have an obligation on behalf of not only myself, but my fellow professional boxers who risk their lives in the ring, to take a stand and make sure that the Ali Act is taken as seriously as the members of Congress that enacted it designed it to be taken," said Ward in a statement provided to BoxingScene.com.