Oakland's Andre Ward said he's confident he'll return to the boxing ring in the early spring despite the lawsuit he filed Monday attempting to break from his longtime promoter, Dan Goossen.

"The legal process that I'm going through right now should have no bearing on my getting back in the ring as soon as possible," Ward said in a statement emailed to The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday morning. "And I'm hoping to fight some time in March or April."

Ward, 29, is 27-0 with 14 knockouts after cruising to a unanimous decision over Edwin Rodriguez last month in Ontario.

He tried earlier this year to break from Goossen, who says his contract with Ward extends through September 2015, but that bid was denied by the California State Athletic Commission.

On Monday, Ward filed suit in Los Angeles County, claiming that Goossen's contract extensions have bound the fighter excessively for more than seven years, and citing a precedent ruling in which Oscar De La Hoya was freed from promoter Bob Arum.

There is speculation Ward would like to be part of Arum's stable, which includes a likely pay-per-view opponent for Ward, former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Ward has never headlined his own pay-per-view with Goossen. His most recent bout was the main event of an HBO card.

"I'm not going to speak on ongoing litigation at this time," Ward said in the statement. "We will let the legal process take it's course. I'm fully focused on getting back in the ring and having an active 2014."



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