Steve Smoger to ref Froch-Ward fight this Saturday

By Boxing News - 12/15/2011 - Comments

Image: Steve Smoger to ref Froch-Ward fight this SaturdayPhoto: Casino/SHOWTIME – By Scott Gilfoid: Referee Steve Smoger will be working this Saturday’s fight between Andre Ward and Carl Froch at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Smoger is known for his hands off approach to working fights and rarely does he step in to penalize or halt fights until it’s clear that a fighter is in need of protection. I don’t know that this is necessarily a good thing for Ward.

I like the idea of Smoger being someone that will stay out of the way of action, because the last thing we need is a referee that overly involves himself and breaks up the fight action every time one fighter attempts to work on the inside. However, Smoger also tends to penalize very seldom unless it’s soothing really obvious.

This is bad news for Ward because Froch fought an incredibly dirty fight two years ago in his controversial 12 round decision over Andre Dirrell. Froch fouled early and often and arguably he should have been disqualified for fouling by the 8th round. Froch didn’t start fouling until it was abundantly clear that he was overmatched against Dirrell and was getting humiliated by the talented American. That’s when Froch started throwing Dirrell around and blasting him with rabbit shots.

If Froch does this kind of thing in response to Ward dominating him this Saturday, the only person that can stop Froch from doing all of this is referee Smoger. He’s got to take points away from Froch to snap him out of his zone or else we could see this fight break into a fouling brawl. Ward isn’t just going to stand there and take it if Froch goes wild on him. He’s going to play eye for an eye by fouling Froch back. I just don’t want Ward’s dominating performance to be tarnished by Froch and a referee that lets from get away with fouling.

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