The second and third best super middles are fighting tomorrow, and that got me thinking about why the best super middle, Andre Ward, isn't in the mix for a meaningful fight.
Well, we heard from him right around the last Floyd Mayweather fight, which he attended. The Bay Area boxer said he was wanting a fight, but was blaming his promoter, DanGoossen, for not making it happen.
Goossen, who worked a deal to get Ward almost $2 million to fight ex Friday Night Fights vet Edwin Rodriguez last fall, has been busy battling Ward in the legal arena, because Ward has declared that his contract with Goossen should be voided, for a couple reasons.
The California commission just ruled on that matter, back on April 30, and sided with Goossen. The CSAC's arbitrator, Andy Foster, the executive director for the agency, ruled that the contract is valid through Nov. 8, 2016, for the record.
Ward lost another commission hearing back in June 2013. He'd signed a contract extension with Goossen in 2011.
Team Ward replied after the latest loss that they have just begun to fight...which is of course their right...but I have to admit, I'm not understanding the wisdom there.
You are 30-years-old, are regarded as most as one of the top five boxers in the world, but you are injury prone, and can't rely on being able to fight for that much longer, based on that injury history, and every month that passes without you fighting means more people forget about you. And your crew is declaring that you don't regard your promotional contract is valid...yet you want to work under the terms of the contract, with the promoter you have taken to court several times, and get another fight? Am I alone here, in not seeing the issue from the Ward stance all that well?
I put out an invite, which is a standing invite, to a Ward (26-0) rep to talk about this stuff, and if he wants the winner of the Carl Froch-George Groves rematch, and am hoping to hear back, to get some clarity. (Ward beat Froch via UD12 in Dec. 2011.) During the Froch-Groves II weigh-in, Froch promoter Eddie Hearn took a slap at Ward for being a poor product commercially, and someone who can't draw fans, which is why, he said, he's not so keen on a Froch-Ward rematch, if Ward wins, and he'd be more inclined to put together a domestic rivarly rumble, so I'd like to hear Wards' response...
I also phoned promoter Goossen, and he was not available for comment.
Team Ward, in a statement released after the Cali commission ruled against them most recently, said that, "Dan (Goossen) said that he would continue to pursue fights for Andre but since the Rodriguez bout, he has been unable to deliver." I couldn't get Goossen on the record, but I am thinking that the promoter was able to get him almost $2 million to fight E-Rod...and also, I know a market doesn't like uncertainty, and am curious whether an HBO or a Showtime would even want to consider a large lump payment for a Ward event if Team Ward is keen on continuing to seek the nullification of his contract with Goossen. Might that not be a humongous impediment to anyone seeking to put together a Ward bout, and if yes, who should receive blame for that? The release, from attorney Josh Dubin and advisor James Prince, also stated: "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."
Let me be clear, I'm rooting for the same thing. I'd LOVE to see a Ward-Gennady Golovkin fight, or Ward move up to face a Bernard Hopkins, or a Sergey Kovalev. I think, built correctly, one or more of those bouts could even do some pay-per-view business. But it goes without saying that those bouts won't get made while the boxer is seemingly concentrating on fighting a contractual, rather than an in-ring, battle.