Andre Ward sues to break from promoter Dan Goossen

Andre Ward, left, lands a left during his victory over Edwin Rodriguez in 2013.
Andre Ward, left, lands a left during his victory over Edwin Rodriguez in 2013.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)
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Three decades ago, boxing promoter Dan Goossen managed former nightclub bouncer Mr. T.

Goossen helped land Mr. T his defining role as boxer Clubber Lang in Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky III,” only to be told he was fired just as Mr. T was set to begin filming.

“God doesn’t help those who don’t help themselves,” Mr. T told Goossen.

See how history repeats itself.

On Monday, Goossen learned that for the second time in a year his star boxer Andre Ward, the 27-0 World Boxing Assn. super-middleweight champion, was seeking to escape a contract that binds Ward to Goossen at least through September 2015.

Earlier this year, in arbitration, Ward’s bid to separate from Goossen -- whose office is based in Sherman Oaks -- was denied.


Ward, who dominated Edwin Rodriguez in an HBO-televised Nov. 16 unanimous-decision victory in Ontario, is the most recent U.S. Olympic gold medalist in boxing, winning in 2004.

His lawsuit contends that extensions in his original deal with Goossen create a contractual bind beyond seven years -- which a court ruled against in allowing Oscar De La Hoya to leave his then-promoter, Top Rank, in 2001.

Now, Goossen could lose Ward after the two have made more than $10 million together, with Ward winning the Showtime “Super Six” tournament, then beating former light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in 2012 before suffering a shoulder injury.

“I’m just very disappointed in Andre,” Goossen told The Times on Tuesday night.

Attempts to reach Ward on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

There has been speculation Oakland’s Ward, 29, wants to join promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable, where he’d be in line to fight former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a pay-per-view bout.

“I don’t know, he hasn’t talked to me,” Arum said Tuesday.


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