Dan Goossen, President of Goossen Promotions, has succumb to complications stemming from liver cancer and unexpectedly passes away at age 64.

Dan Goossen has been a fixture in the boxing game for more years than most can remember. Boxing has been sort of like the family business, with his brother, Joe Goossen, being a well-respected trainer for a long time as well. Dan unexpectedly passed away at 3am this morning from complications due to liver cancer. Publicist Fred Sternburg offered the following public statement.”It is with overwhelming regret that we announce the passing of Dan Goossen, 64, from complications relating to liver cancer. The sudden news of his diagnosis was very much a private matter and his final days were spent surrounded by his family and closest friends,” read the statement.

“Sadness is difficult to escape as we grieve his passing; however, we are filled with pride by the fact that Dan Goossen battled this aggressive illness with boundless strength and the last days of his life were fought and lived with unflinching bravery, pure love and grace beyond measure.”

Dan Goossen is credited with being a key influential force behind the “Super Six” tournament and the promoter of its eventual winner, Andre Ward. Most will recall the protracted legal battles that has arisen time and time again between Goossen and Ward since then, but that is best served as a discussion for another day. Today, Goossen is remember by his peers as a stand up businessman and a good friend/colleague. HBO Sports President, Ken Hershman, who was the man in charge at Showtime Sports during the Super Six had this to say about the late Goossen.

“Everyone at HBO Sports is saddened by the sudden loss of Dan Goossen. Dan was a dedicated boxing promoter who we worked closely with for many, many years on some of the most important fights in the sport,” said Hershman, in a statement from HBO.

“But what was even more impressive was his total commitment to his family, who were always right by his side during fight week or wherever his business required him to be. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Debbie and the entire Goossen family.”

Lou DiBella, who also worked with Goossen during the Super Six also offered his assessment of Goossen, the man.

“I’ve met his wife and I’ve met his entire family over the years. Through it all, he never lost focus on what’s truly important in life and where your priorities really lie and Dan’s biggest priority, first and foremost, was always with his family. That was just a fact,” said DiBella, who called Goossen, “The Goose.”

“All promoters have run-ins but with Dan and I, even our run-ins were with amusement and humor. Even when we disagreed on things, it was always in a friendly way. He was always the kind of guy that you looked forward to talking to. I enjoyed talking to him. There just aren’t that many guys like him left in the game.”

Our heartfelt condolences reaches out to the entire Goossen family and all the other lives he’s positively impacted.


WBO/IBF/WBA Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will make his 12th title defense in a rematch against mandatory challenger Tony Thompson on July 7 after the sides made a deal Monday, Klitschko adviser Shelly Finkel told ESPN.com.

An IBF purse bid was scheduled for Tuesday, but it was canceled when they came to an agreement. IBF championship committee chairman Lindsey Tucker said the organization received a letter from the fighters’ handlers letting him know a deal had been made.

“There is no purse bid because we made a deal,” Finkel said.

Had it gone to a purse bid, Klitschko would have been entitled to 85 percent of the winning bid with Thompson due 15 percent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The fight is slated to take place at a soccer stadium in Berne, Switzerland. Klitschko, who is from Ukraine, usually fights in Germany — where he has fought his last seven fights — although his older brother, fellow heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, made a 2009 title defense against Kevin Johnson at a hockey arena in Berne.

Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), who turned 36 on Sunday, will be meeting Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs), 40, of Washington, D.C., in a rematch. He first faced Thompson on July 12, 2008 in Hamburg, Germany and dominated. Klitschko led 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92 on the judges’ scorecards before scoring a crushing 11th-round knockout.

Since then, Thompson has won five consecutive bouts, each by knockout, to again become Klitschko’s mandatory challenger.

Dan Goossen, Thompson’s promoter, had hoped to make a deal to the bring the fight to Washington, but Klitschko was not interested because the money would be greater in Europe.

The likely American broadcaster for Klitschko-Thompson II is premium network Epix, which also televised Klitschko’s fourth-round destruction of Jean-Marc Mormeck on March 3, as well as Vitali Klitschko’s title defense on Feb. 18, a unanimous decision against Dereck Chisora.

If Wladimir Klitschko defeats Thompson, he does plan to return to the United States for a tentative Nov. 10 title defense against American Cristobal Arreola at Madison Square Garden in New York in a fight that HBO is interested in broadcasting.

Klitschko’s last fight in the U.S. was also at the Garden, where he won a lopsided decision against Sultan Ibragimov in a title unification fight on Feb. 23, 2008.


By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com