Ten questions for Dan Goossen, president of Goossen Tutor Promotions, headquartered in Sherman Oaks, CA.
A boxing promoter for more than 20 years, Goossen, 54, first became a name in the fight game in the early 1980s with Ten Goose Boxing, named for him and his nine brothers and sisters.
His present company started up in March 2002 and promotes such fighters as IBA heavyweight champ James “Lights Out” Toney, heavyweight contenders Cedric Boswell, Malcolm Tann and Audley Harrison; former light-heavyweight champ Glen Johnson, 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward, and former world champs Steve Forbes and Robbie Peden.
Both Goossen’s father and grandfather were involved in boxing, so it was only natural that their sons and grandsons lean in that direction.
“I looked in the phonebook under boxing promoters and there were only two names – Bob Arum and Don King,” Goossen said of his choice of careers. “Then I looked under doctors and lawyers and there were pages full of names. It wasn’t a hard choice.”
TSS: What’s the best thing about being a promoter?
DG: I’ve never been asked that. I’ve probably got to wait another 20 years before I can answer that one.
TSS: What’s a promoter’s biggest nightmare?
DG: The biggest nightmare is, you live and die on that bell ringing. Because unlike any other sport, if one of the main event athletes gets injured prior to that fight happening, a lot of work goes down the drain.
TSS: What is your best attribute as a promoter?
DG: To try to wrap it all up in one ball, to encompass everything, I want to say words like honorable and good. But I don't like to do those things because they're just my words. To surmise it in just one word, I’d say it’s loyalty.
TSS: What do you look for in a fighter before you sign him?
DG: When everything is said and done, whatever drives you to sign someone, the one thing I’m always looking for – the most important ingredient of my relationship with fighters for their success and ours – is, again, loyalty. That’s what makes a strong team.
TSS: What does James Toney bring to the heavyweight division?
DG: He brings what we’ve come to expect from our heavyweight champions. Champions that have talent, champions that have charisma, and champions that have the ability to garner headlines.
TSS: What changes would you like to see in the fight game?
DG: I believe that most important is having an organization such as our boxing commissioners, get together from the standpoint of becoming one governing body to oversee our sport. Otherwise, we will end up totally under the umbrella of the federal government.
TSS: What is it most people don’t understand about being a boxing promoter?
DG: What people don’t understand is, without promoters, there is no boxing. And not all promoters are thieves, liars and cheats.
TSS: Do you have a favorite anecdote?
DG: There’s so many crazy things, unbelievable things, that they all have their own status competing for No. 1. I think one of the most memorable was also one of the saddest. When we were announcing the Mike Tyson fight in California (against Francois Botha in January 1999), Mike, every hour on the hour for about four hours, was late, on his way. I was astounded that as each minute and each hour ticked by, the press was getting more and more upset, and the cuss words were as if you were in the locker room of the Fighting Irish. But yet not one single media representative left. And when Mike finally showed up, it was as if he had shown up right on time and on schedule. And they all left with smiles on their faces.
TSS: Who will win the Vitali Klitschko-Hasim Rahman fight on Nov. 12?
DG: It’s a toss-up type of fight. At times, Rahman has struggled with average fighters. Vitali’s claim to fame is [his loss] to Lennox Lewis. If it goes past the first couple rounds, it could be a [slow] fight.
TSS: What’s the relationship between Goossen Tutor Promotions and junior-welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
DG: We’ll see after the fight (between Mayweather and Sharmba Mitchell that Goossen Tutor is promoting) on Nov. 19. It could be a very exciting fight. Sharmba Mitchell is a two-time world champ and he could surprise a lot of people.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?