WBA super-middleweight champion Andre Ward has spoken out at rumours that he is seeking to end his contract with long-time handler Dan Goossen in order to link up with Bob Arum at Top Rank.
The 29 year-old, who is undefeated in 26 contests, recently lost an attempt to sever ties with Goossen, but stated on HBO’s The Fight Game that nothing untoward was behind the move and that no contact had been made with Arum.
“It is just flat out wrong (about Top Rank), and it’s really unfortunate, because I’ve seen a lot of writers that I respect run with that story, and without talking to me first, and that’s a very superficial reason to try to leave a promoter. I mean, I’m a man of my word, and as long as my contract is binding, then I’m going to adhere to my contract like I always have.”
Ward was due to face Kelly Pavlik until a shoulder injury ruled him out for months, and after ‘The Ghost’ decided to call time on his career once the fight collapsed, the ‘S.O.G’ has turned his attention to striking an agreement with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
“That deal (with Pavlik) was signed, sealed and delivered before I got hurt, and I just think that a fight with Chavez Jr. can be made the way things are right now. As long as Chavez wants it, I want it, I’m sure that HBO wants it and the fans want to see it.
“Those are the types of major fights, not just a premium network fight – but a major pay per view fight, that I’m in line for and I think that Chavez wants it and everybody involved wants it.”
Chavez, 27, has long been linked to a clash with Bryan Vera in September, although nothing yet has been officially finalised by Arum. It may still be that Chavez would take the fight with Vera even if the Ward fight can begin negotiations as a warm-up for both would be in their interests.
The more likely scenario would be a huge December battle between the two once Chavez gets another ‘W’ behind him, but saying that, Ward is left with few options for a comeback contest in the interim.