WBA super-middleweight champion Andre Ward made his feelings public on Monday following the sudden death of estranged long-time promoter Dan Goossen.
Goossen died aged 64 of complications from liver cancer, according to a family press release, and despite the two being involved in a legal disagreement for the past couple of years, Ward was as shocked as all of us to hear of the seriousness of his handler’s illness.
The 30 year-old is yet to fight this year as Ward battled a contract dispute that has seriously affected his career of late, although the former unified world title-holder rightly put his own troubles aside to offer his condolences to Goossen’s grieving family.
“I was deeply saddened to learn the news of Dan Goossen’s passing early this morning,” said pound for pound star Ward.
“My thoughts and prayers have been with Dan and his family since I received the news of his illness last week. While Dan and I recently had our professional struggles, he was a great man, father and husband. He will be greatly missed by the boxing community.
“I will continue to keep the Goossen family in my prayers,” he added.
Broadcasters ESPN also released their own statement as follows:
Longtime boxing promoter Dan Goossen, of Goossen Promotions, who passed away Monday, promoted six events televised on ESPN networks in 2014 and has been a longtime promoter for ESPN’s boxing coverage. Most notably, Goossen promoted the WBC World Heavyweight Championship between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola on ESPN in May.
Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions, on Goossen’s passing: “Dan Goossen was an absolute titan in the boxing industry and a great friend to ESPN. He was the mastermind behind bringing the WBC World Heavyweight Championship bout between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola to the masses via ESPN back in May. He will be sorely missed.”