Undefeated super middleweight Andre Ward has signed a multi-year contract extension with Goossen Tutor Promotions, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com:
"In Dan, I have a very strong promoter, two promoters actually, Antonio Leonard and Dan, and a strong manager," Ward said. "I have a great coach (Virgil Hunter), who has been with me from day one. We've got a strong foundation, strong stability and as we keep going to the top it's only going to get stronger, and I am happy to say that we signed an extension to our promotional deal.
"I think it was pretty much a no brainer because not only is Dan a West Coast guy and so am I, but we have chemistry, and that's big. So I am thankful for that today and I am proud to be announcing that news."
In the end, Andre is probably passing up money he could get elsewhere to stay where he's comfortable, and that's commendable. For all the talk that Ward doesn't have much of a fan base, it certainly hasn't been without effort. He and Goossen have tried to turn Oakland into a good fight town, with moderate success, but whatever the reason, Oakland is proving no more viable a fight town for these major Andre Ward bouts than Salisbury, Md., has been for Fernando Guerrero, who is still just a prospect.
Ward's fight earlier this month with Arthur Abraham was in Carson, Calif., where Ward's fans were evened if not outnumbered by the local Armenian population rooting on Abraham. Ward is not going to be a major drawing card, most likely -- his style and his approach to boxing probably don't allow for that, and he doesn't have the sort of constant desire for attention that drove Floyd Mayweather Jr into superstardom.
And his value to Goossen Tutor is not the same as it is on the surface as a "star" -- as a smaller firm, their biggest attractions are Ward, Paul Williams, and the unreliable Chris Arreola. Dan Goossen sounds thrilled to keep him under contract, and I'm sure rightly so. The promoter sees bigger things for Ward's star potential than most do, and even if he doesn't meet Goossen's lofty expectations, he'll remain a very valuable asset to the promotional company.
Quick Note: The Froch vs Johnson conference call thing was supposed to go up tomorrow, not today. I meant to schedule it for Wednesday (when the call is) at 3 p.m., and not today (when the call is not) at 3 p.m. So tomorrow we will have live updates. Unless they cancel the call.