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Boxing promoter Dan Goossen's effect still felt one year after his death

Boxing promoter Dan Goossen's effect still felt one year after his death
Dan Goossen stands between boxers Evander Holyfield, left, and James Toney in 2003. (Laura Rauch / Associated Press)

There's poetic justice in the fact that on the one-year anniversary of Southland boxing promoter Dan Goossen's death one of the sharpest prospects he ever signed is fighting on.

Unbeaten light-middleweight and 2012 Mexican Olympian Oscar Molina (13-0, 10 knockouts) will meet fellow unbeaten Dominique Dalton (17-0, nine KOs) Tuesday night at 6 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. The co-main event will be followed by a junior-lightweight bout between Javier Fortuna and Carlos Velasquez.

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Televised from the Palms in Las Vegas, the card is promoted by the renamed brand of Goossen's promotional company, TGB Promotions, a reference to "Ten Goose Boxing," that began as a family business in the San Fernando Valley.

Tom Brown, Goossen's brother-in-law and his former matchmaker, has not only sustained the company but overseen its rise to an unprecedented level.

TGB Promotions serves steadily as lead promoter to powerful boxing manager Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions, which debuted on NBC in March with a TGB card headlined by welterweights Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero and also staged last month's Leo Santa Cruz victory over Abner Mares at Staples Center.

At the time of his death from bladder cancer at age 64, Goossen "knew something was coming" with Haymon, Brown said, "but he didn't know the extent of it."

Goossen previously promoted Haymon fighters including Paul Williams and heavyweight Cris Arreola.

The PBC shows are sometimes void of a boastful promoter's voice. On the East Coast, Lou DiBella fills the role. But in the West, Brown works humbly, organizing the cards, maintaining a low-profile.

How long the relationship will last is unknown.

"There's no assurances," Brown said. "This is boxing.

"I pull no punches on myself … I'm a matchmaker with a promoter's license. I'm grinding down in the trenches," Brown said. "Dan was an old-school promoter. This would've been right up Dan's alley. He loved being in the mad hunt … he was such a great out-of-the-box thinker. He'd come up with crazy things, but he sure tried anything and everything. If [PBC] needed [a bolder voice and face], he would've been A-plus."

Goossen parlayed his family's discovery of the champion Ruelas brothers (Gabriel and Rafael) into cards at the Reseda Country Club, then later oversaw the resurrection of James Toney while signing current top pound-for-pound super-middleweight champion Andre Ward, Williams, Arreola and others, including Josesito Lopez and John Molina.

"Dan was very excited after signing Oscar [Molina] ... he had a great eye for talent, and always worked to grab Olympians away from the other promoters who had more money," Brown said.

"Look at what he pulled off – getting Arreola and [then-heavyweight champion Bermane] Stiverne to fight at USC on ESPN when no one would buy the thing … . When he brought in Toney, I was like, 'James Toney?' Dan had three fighters of the year in the era of Pacquiao and Mayweather with Toney, Glen Johnson and Andre Ward."

Beyond that, Goossen long backed his close friend Pete Rose's push to gain eligibility for the Hall of Fame after baseball's all-time hit king was banned for gambling on his team.

Last week, Rose won a long-awaited audience with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, appealing for reinstatement.

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"It's partly because of Dan's letter writing that got [Rose] the meeting," Brown said. "Dan was working it so hard, he felt [this season's] All-Star Game in Cincinnati was some leverage to have it revisited. Pete's a good man. He's served his sentence."

On Sept. 21, Brown celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary with his wife, Sandi, Dan's sister.

"My feeling is Dan is my brother," said Brown, whose office in Sherman Oaks was formerly positioned right outside Goossen's, within earshot of the distinct, booming voice. "We were together so much. We miss him so much. I feel sad even talking about it. I wish he was here."

Yet, Brown finds comfort when he's discussing boxing deals, hearing phrases that would routinely spew from Goossen's mouth now coming from his.

Taking control of TGB "was hard, uncomfortable. I really missed having Dan. My whole career, he was the guy I bumped everything off of. You'll never have another Dan Goossen. Not only was he such an honest guy, he was also a great salesman –- a true promoter.

"Even on his last day, he gave me a great pep talk. Told me I was prepared and ready, to go out and kick some [butt]."

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