Andre Ward has put out official word via press release that he's definitely seeking to end his deal with promoter Dan Goossen, saying that the promoter has gotten in the way of his career continuing, and has refused to meet with HBO or his manager, James Prince.
Ward (26-0, 14 KO) hasn't fought since last September. The two are reportedly set to meet with an arbitrator tomorrow.
From the press release:
"I believe I am in the prime of my professional boxing career. Actions of a California licensed promoter are preventing me from defending my title and pursuing my profession," said Ward. "A boxer has a limited timeframe to earn his livelihood, provide for his family and, let alone, perform at a championship caliber level. Goossen's actions leave me with the possibility of not stepping in to the ring at all in 2013. I respect the privilege of my boxing license and my responsibilities. I have always felt a comfort level boxing under the California Commission Rules, which fairly protect all fighters and ensure that licensed promoters are in full compliance."
"Goossen had various opportunities to meet with HBO, and to interact with my Manager. He refused and otherwise did not respond to my team regarding these important business dealings concerning MY career. I defer to my manager and our attorneys regarding our request to terminate the Promotional Agreement and the blatant violation of specific Commission Rules that are in place to protect boxers from unauthorized actions of licensed promoters. Obviously I feel very strongly about this matter as we are appearing before the California Commission to take action to ensure licensed promoters comply with their rules; and for what is in the best interests of not only my boxing career, but all fighters alike."
James Prince, Manager
"It is absolutely crazy to me that this man would stand in the way of Andre's boxing career and his next title defense, and not respect Andre's request that his co-promoter and manager be part of those discussions. Understandably, HBO did not want to get in the middle of any dispute between Andre's co-promoters or Andre and Goossen; but for this man to refuse to attend a meeting because he wanted to be the only one talking with HBO and have sole control over Andre's career is flat out wrong. There are multiple reasons to terminate the Promotional Agreement with Goossen and we are following proper procedures with our sole objective of always doing what is in the best interests of Andre Ward."
If Ward does get what he wants, there are early rumors that Top Rank will wind up Ward's next promoter, though Bob Arum denies having spoken with Ward about a potential deal.