Dan Goossen likes to put out press releases that confuse the issue – so on behalf of Andre Ward, we want to be crystal clear: the ‘legal issues’ that he referred to are only just getting underway. It is only after a California judge or jury speaks that the legal issues will be resolved.
Today’s decision from the California State Athletic Commission was not unexpected. From the very start, we do not feel that the commission has been looking out for the best interests of Andre Ward, the very boxer they are supposed to protect. To the contrary, for some inexplicable reason, the CSAC has continually bent over backwards to try to accommodate a promoter who we feel is taking horrible advantage of Andre and his career. It is difficult to understand why the CSAC has refused to enforce its own rules – first, by upholding Goossen Tutor’s Promotional Agreement with Andre when we feel that Dan Goossen clearly violated the commission rules by failing to disclose his co-promotional agreement with Antonio Leonard, and now by continuing to recognize and in fact extend the agreement when it is in clear violation of a California labor law that prohibits promotional contracts that last more than seven years. Why the CSAC is favoring a promoter, even when it means turning a blind eye to its own rules and the law, is a bit of mystery at this point – but we can assure you that we will get to the bottom of why that is happening and bring it to full light. This is an important matter not just for Andre, but for any fighter that risks his or her life in the state of California.
This is not the end of Andre’s fight to stand up for what he knows is right, but rather the beginning. The CSAC decision has only strengthened his resolve. Andre’s lawsuit against Dan Goossen and his promotional company in California Superior Court is continuing to move forward. It has always been Andre’s steadfast belief, as well as ours, that the state court system, not the CSAC, is the proper venue for his dispute with Dan Goossen. It is Team Ward’s belief that the arbitration before the CSAC should not have proceeded while Andre’s lawsuit is pending, so we do not feel that the decision is ultimately going to be binding.
We also want to be very clear about something else – when Andre filed his lawsuit against Dan Goossen late last year, he offered to continue to work with Dan while the case played out. Dan said that he would continue to pursue fights for Andre but since the Rodriguez bout, he has been unable to deliver. Andre is still waiting for an offer to fight, and the reality is that he is sitting on the shelf because Dan Goossen simply cannot make it happen. This is one of the precise reasons Andre is trying to free himself from this situation – he is stuck with a promoter who we do not feel can advance his career in the appropriate manner.
To all the fans, Andre appreciates your support and words of encouragement during this difficult time. We will keep you updated on the status of his lawsuit, and Andre will remain in shape and ready to fight should an offer come in the interim. Andre is looking forward to continuing the journey with all of his fans as soon as possible, and as always, is ready to face the best in the boxing world has to offer.
On Behalf of Andre Ward:
Josh Dubin & James Prince