A deal is “close” for a potential bout between THE RING’s super middleweight champion Andre Ward and RING light heavyweight king Chad Dawson on Sept. 8 in Atlantic City or Oakland, Calif., Ward’s promoter, Dan Goossen, told RingTV.com on Tuesday.
“We’re very, very, very close. Hopefully, we’ll get something wrapped up by the end of this week. I think that it’s that next challenge for Andre Ward to go to that next level. Those are the types of fights that you try to have. We’re looking at Sept. 8. We’ve got a few venues that are interested,” said Goossen.
“Obviously, Andre and I would love to have Oakland, and Atlantic City has made a strong bid. [Dawson's promoter] Gary Shaw and I have had some good discussions and done some arm wrestling, but hopefully we can get that decided soon.”
Rated No. 5 pound-for-pound by THE RING, Ward (25-0, 13 knockouts) holds the WBA’s belt, but had been declared the WBC’s “champion in recess” apparently for failing to make a mandatory defense of his crown against Anthony Dirrell of Flint, Mich.
The ruling effectively stripped the 28-year-old resident of Oakland, Calif., of the belt he won by defeating England’s Carl Froch in the December finals of Showtime’s Super Six Boxing Classic super middleweight tournament.
Meanwhile, Dirrell (24-0, 21 KOs) had been directed to face Nikola Sjekloca, of Budva, Montenegro, according to the organization’s Secretary General, Mauricio Sulaiman, until he suffered a broken leg and a fractured hand in a motorcycle accident last weekend which derailed that situation.
As a result, Ward has been restored as the WBC’s beltholder, and his bout with Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs), approved for sanction as a title bout by the organization.
“The WBC is waiting to receive the notification from the doctor of Anthony Dirrell to understand his medical status and how long and he will be out of the ring. In the meantime, we have just received a sanction request for Andre Ward, who is back in the ring in September,” said Sulaiman.
“So Andre Ward will be back to the status of champion, and he will defend his title against Chad Dawson. We will continue to wait to hear from Dirrell to see how long he will be out, and we will turn that matter to the WBC’s Board of Governers to decide whether he would need to re-confirm his status as mandatory or what would take place next.”
Gary Shaw has not answered his phone or his e-mail. But Sulaiman said that the sanctioning request was from both Dan’s Goossen-Tutor Promotions and Gary Shaw Promotions asking for the bout to be sanctioned for the WBC’s 168-pound belt.
Sulaiman said he had yet to notify Goosen and Shaw of the change, but that he would do so soon.
“That is correct,” said Sulaiman. “We will send out the letters today.”
Dawson’s majority decision win dethroned Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) as RING and WBC light heavyweight champion on April 28.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org