Super middleweight champion Andre Ward was dealt yet another blow on Tuesday in his effort to break his promotional contract with Dan Goossen, who has promoted Ward for his entire 10-year professional career.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig issued a ruling dismissing Ward's latest attempt to terminate his promotional contract. Kendig ruled that Ward had not stated "any basis upon which to invalidate the contract" and the case was dismissed.
Ward had attempted to break the contract by arguing that the promotional agreement was in violation of California Labor Code Section 2855. In essence, that section of the code says a contract for personal services may not be enforced beyond seven years.
However, the court rejected the contention that he was under a personal services contract. Ward re-signed with Goossen for three years in April 2011 and received a $550,000 signing bonus.
Goossen declined comment. Ward declined comment through his spokesperson.
In making the ruling, Kendig noted that the California State Athletic Commission had already twice ruled against Ward in separate arbitration hearings pertaining to efforts to break the promotional agreement.
Earlier this month, Ward launched a fourth effort to get out of the promotional contract by suing Goossen in California, claiming that he has violated the federal Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act for failing to disclose all forms of income generated by his fights.
Goossen denied the charge and is countersuing Ward for $10 million, claiming defamation.
While Ward is widely considered the second-best fighter in the world pound-for-pound, behind only welterweight and junior middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., he has been extremely inactive.
Since easily outpointing Carl Froch to unify two 168-pound world titles in the Super Six World Boxing Classic final in December 2011, Ward has fought just twice, a dominating 10th-round knockout of then-light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (who dropped down in weight to challenge for Ward's title) in September 2012 and a one-sided decision win against Edwin Rodriguez last November. It appears unlikely that Ward will fight at all this year.
Ward, 30, a 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist from Oakland, California, was out of action in part because of a shoulder injury that required surgery as well as his ongoing issues with Goossen.