By Ryan Maquiñana
Dan Goossen, promoter of unified super middleweight champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward, addressed a recent report that his fighter’s return was slated for June 2 at Oracle Arena in his hometown of Oakland, Calif.
“No, it’s not finalized just yet,” Goossen told BoxingScene.com Wednesday afternoon.
Showtime’s recent announcement to hold a quadruple-header on the same date featuring Antonio Tarver’s cruiserweight battle with Lateef Kayode in Carson, Calif., has certainly affected Team Ward’s outlook on when the reigning World Fighter of the Year will make his much-anticipated homecoming.
“I’m speaking to Andre and his team right now about the viability of having a bout in June with the crowded lineup, especially since Tarver’s been switched to June 2nd. We should know in a couple days on whether Andre will move forward in June or not,” Goossen added.
The 28-year-old Ward expressed to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix his lack of interest in a mandatory defense against Anthony Dirrell. He also called out IBF boss Lucian Bute of Canada, who will head to England to clash with Carl Froch in May in what could end up becoming a prolonged home-and-home series should Bute lose.
“People ask me on the street or on Twitter when I'm coming back,” said Ward, who is expecting his fourth child with wife Tiffiney in mid-June. “Well, I'm coming. I want Bute but I'm ready for any big fight at 168 or 175 pounds.”
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (CSNBayArea.com). He’s also a 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.