An attorney for RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward said the fighter “wants full accounting, full financial transparency and repayment of amounts that he has been deprived of over the last 10 years” in regard to a lawsuit filed on Monday against promoter Dan Goossen.
According to a report by BoxingScene.com, Ward, also the WBA titleholder, filed suit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division.
Ward, 30, is alleging that Goossen violated the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act by failing to make timely disclosures for fights that took place between 2004 and 2012, including victories over Sakio Bika in 2010, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch in 2011 and Chad Dawson in 2012.
“The core purpose of this law is to protect boxers from the inherent advantage that promoters have over them. A fair, straight-shooting promoter will provide straight financial disclosures, and the split will be proper and everybody will see that. That’s fine and that’s how a promoter should operate,” said Jim McCarroll, a partner and practice group leader with New York-based firm, Reed Smith LLP. Los Angeles-based Jim Sanders, also of Reed Smith LLP, is the lead lawyer on the lawsuit.
“However, there have been instances in the past where you have a promoter that has the unique ability to see all of the finances and all of the deals, and the promoter then tells the fighter how much he’s going to get after the fact. That’s fundamentally at odds with, and fundamentally a violation of, this statute. That’s what’s happened here. If you want to know a good estimate of how much Goossen owes Ward, the sad reality is that I can’t tell.”
Goossen declined comment on Wednesday through his publicist on the allegations, which could not been confirmed or denied by his camp. Goossen also declined to provide information on his legal representation.
“Dan Goossen, as a promoter for Andre Ward, has failed in every instance to provide basic financial disclosures as required under the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act throughout Andre’s 10-year career,” said McCarroll.
“Dan Goossen has been promoter on nearly all of Andre’s fights and at no time has he provided proper financial disclosures to Andre Ward. This is a blatant violation of a federal statute and it has nothing to do with Andre’s separation from Goossen or any forward-looking dynamic or any backward-looking fact except for these chronic, willful violations of a federal statute.”
McCarroll said Ward’s latest filing is separate from what has been ongoing litigation with Goossen, who received a favorable decision from the California State Athletic Commission’s (CSAC) in May to uphold Ward’s contract with Goossen Promotions, after which the fighter’s attorney, Josh Dubin and manager, James Prince issued a counter statement on Ward’s behalf.
“The arbitration and the ongoing litigation…this has nothing to do with that case and nothing to do with those claims,” said McCarroll. “This is just a straight, transparent, willful violation on an ongoing violation of a federal statute.”