- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

Boxing promoter Dan Goossen, who handled a number of world champions in a lengthy career, has died after a short illness. He was 64.

Goossen died early Monday in Southern California after battling liver cancer that was only recently diagnosed, his family said in a statement.

“The sudden news of his diagnosis was very much a private matter and his final days were spent surrounded by his family and close friends,” the family said. “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.”

Goossen was involved in boxing most of his life, promoting it through a succession of companies he headed. At the time of his death he was promoting undefeated super middleweight champion Andre Ward among other fighters.

Ward, who had been promoted by Goossen since shortly after winning a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, had recently been engaged in a legal fight to break his contract with Goossen.

“My thoughts and prayers have been with Dan and his family since I received the news of his illness last week,” Ward said in a statement. “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.”

Goossen’s champions included brothers Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas, Michael Nunn and Terry Norris. He also promoted fights involving Mike Tyson, James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, Chris Arreola, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and 1996 Olympic gold medalist David Reid.

Goossen was one of 10 brothers and sisters, including his late older brother Greg, who died in 2011. Greg Goossen was once a highly touted baseball prospect who would go on to play for four major league teams in the late 1960s.

Goossen’s original company, Ten Goose Boxing, was named after the large family, and another Goossen brother, Joe Goossen, is a boxing trainer who once handled the late Diego Corrales. Dan Goossen later ran America Presents, Goossen Tutor Promotions and, finally, Goossen Promotions.

Goossen was also a close friend of Pete Rose, and campaigned for his return to baseball.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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