Back in 1996 a young man threw a fast, hard, overhand right that knocked out a Cuban fighter and he brought home a gold medal in the 156-pound division at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 2004 a sharp minded young man with fast hands boxed his way to a gold medal in the 178-pound division at the Olympics in Athens Greece. David Reid and Andre Ward have that gold medal history in common. They are the last two American boxers to achieve that goal. But they both have another common denominator: the promoter Dan Goossen.
Dan Goossen along with Matt Tinley had a promotion company named America Presents when they signed Dave Reid to a big dollar contract in 1996. Dave had matured physically when he entered the professional ranks at a very good time in the junior middleweight division. The division was rich in talent and one of the public’s favorite weight classes. You had Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad in their prime. You had another young upcoming, hungry, talented boxer name Fernando Vargas. You had veterans like Ike Quartey and Aaron Davis in the mix as well, which made for a lot of exciting matchups.
The unfortunate thing for Dave Reid and Dan Goossen was the time factor. In Dan’s case, he signed Reid to a big contract that pretty much crippled his ability to move Reid along slowly. As a result, Dave Reid didn’t have the luxury of enjoying a relaxed career. From a business standpoint, the World was there for the taking, but from a personal perspective, things were confusing.
Today Dan Goossen has a promotional company, Goossen-Tutor, who along with Roy Jones Jr.’s company, Square Ring, are handling Andre Ward. Times are a little different now then they used to be. This time it might just work in Wards’ favor. There is no excitement or expectation surrounding a United States gold medalist unless you are a heavyweight. There was no huge signing bonus like that of David Reid’s in 1996. Andre Ward can win the public over with his exceptional boxing skills and by having one of the most experienced promoters at marketing a boxer beside him.
I know for a fact that Dan Goossen took a ton of heat from the boxing critics because of how quickly Dave Reid was moved. But keep in mind, all his bouts were winnable bouts. Even Tito Trinidad had the style to compliment Reid’s star qualities. I personally didn’t like the fight and that’s only because Dave is a dear friend of mine. But Dave came out of that bout and laughed straight to the bank. So I predict that Ward will, over time, gain financial wealth and a title belt like most gold medalists before him. So, in essence, what happened then can happen now, and with the same promoter smoothing the way.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?