Ward expected to sign contract

Gold medalist in boxing to be managed by Prince

Olympics

September 01, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward is in Houston this week, where he is expected to sign a professional contract with manager James Prince, according to a source close to Prince.

Prince and Ward, in addition, are considering a partnership with promoter Bob Arum, with whom Prince "has an excellent working relationship," the source said.

Ward, of Oakland, Calif., defeated Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus, 20-13, in Athens on Sunday to earn the United States only its third boxing gold medal since 1992, and its first since David Reid of Philadelphia earned the honor in 1996. Prince was in Athens to watch Ward.

Bill Caplan, a publicist with Arum's Top Rank Promotions, said Prince and the Las Vegas-based promoter worked together during about a two-year period in which Arum handled the career of former super featherweight (130 pounds) and lightweight (135) world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who now fights as a junior welterweight (140).

Arum, in Washington yesterday to promote the undisputed middleweight championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya on Sept. 18 in Las Vegas, acknowledged an interest in promoting the 20-year-old Olympian.

"Andrew Ward, when he won the gold medal, he thanked God and then he thanked [Prince's company] Rap-A-Lot Records, which is James Prince. I assume James is going to be his manager," Arum said. "I think that based on my relationship with James Prince, which has always been very good, that we would have a very, very good chance at being Ward's promoter."

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