As super middleweight champion
Andre Ward searches for a return opponent for November, promoter Lou DiBella
clarified Tuesday why a potential fight between his fighter, Edwin Rodriguez
and Andre Ward fell apart.
Illustrated’s Chris Mannix first reported that HBO had
serious interest in a fight between Ward and Rodriguez – offering a staggering
fee of $3.15 million. Having to negotiate the split, Ward’s camp of promoter
Dan Goossen and manager James Prince offered Rodriguez a “take it-or-leave it”
purse of $800,000.
That offer, DiBella said,
was not going to get the job done.
“[The offer] was not sufficient
economically,” DiBella said. “If you look at things in a vacuum – was it a
decent number? Yes, but it would not have allowed Edwin to earn his biggest
payday. It would have not allowed me to get a big payday. It didn’t reflect the
pool of money that HBO was willing to put up a tremendous licensing fee for.
“We know that it’s Ward’s
date and we’re the opponent but Edwin has been on TV 10 times,” he added. “It’s
the biggest fight available for Andre Ward. We’re not looking to be pigs…we
just expected what we believe is fair share of the revenue.”
In his interview with
Mannix, Ward expressed frustration in Rodriguez turning the fight down. Ward
told SI, “With all due respect to
Rodriguez, who is he to start demanding revenue from the gate or foreign rights?
What has he done to demand these types of things?” Ward went on to say the
offer was the biggest of Rodriguez’s career.
Upon hearing what Ward said
for the first time, DiBella, known for his fiery responses, tried to remain
“I know that Andre is a man
of God, so I am assuming that it’s a misunderstanding,” DiBella said. “No one,
no one on my side of the table – I never asked money from the gate, foreign or
sponsorship revenue nor did I ask for any decision making on where the fight
would take place.”
DiBella again mentioned that
Rodriguez earned more money in the Monte Carlo “Super Four” tournament, where
Rodriguez earned a $600,000 dollar purse in the final, stopping Denis Grachev
in one. DiBella mentioned the money that included his promotional fee wouldn’t
have equaled out to Rodriguez’s biggest payday.
“I would not lie; the
numbers would have not been bigger,” DiBella said. “Since when is Andre Ward
counting other people’s money? If Andre Ward is being paid appropriately, I
would think as the good Christian man he is, then he wouldn’t begrudge other
The negotiations breaking
down led to Rodriguez signing with the infamous manager Al Haymon, giving him a
better insurance option when HBO refused to discuss any other opponent than
Ward. DiBella told Maxboxing that Rodriguez is now targeting Sakio Bika, Badou
Jack or Anthony Dirrell for his return fight. He also mentioned that if HBO
still wants it, the Ward fight could be an option as well.
“My greatest desire would be
to see the Ward fight happen in a way that makes everybody happy,” DiBella