Referee Steve Smoger passes away at 72
By Brian Webber: Well-known American referee Steve Smoger has passed away today at 72. Smoger had reportedly been ill for some time before passing away. There’s no reported cause of death.
Having worked over 200 fights during his career, Smoger’s last fight that he officiated was four years ago between Romuel Cruz and Jose Lopez in August 2018.
What was refreshing about Smoger is that he didn’t show favoritism when officiating his fights. When a boxer would break the rules, Smoger didn’t hesitate to correct them, even when they were superstars that made millions.
Another thing I personally liked about Smoger wouldn’t come unglued when he was in a position where he needed to make a decision whether to penalize or disqualify a fighter. He could think on his feet and make decisions that made sense to the fans.
In this era where referees make bizarre calls, Smoger had a different make to him. You could count on him to make the right call in a fight without making a mess of things like some of today’s referees.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1950, Smoger lived and worked out of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 2015, Smoger was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.
Many of the biggest fights that Smoger worked on came earlier in his career as a referee when many of the biggest fights were still being staged in Atlantic City and in Connecticut. Nowadays, the biggest fights in the U.S. are in Las Vegas or New York.
Some of the fights Smoger worked:
Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito
Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah
Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz
Roy Jones Jr vs. Denis Lebedev
Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah
Miguel Cotto vs. Paulie Malignaiggi
Kelly Pavlik vs. Edison Miranda
James Toney vs. John Ruiz
Diego Corrales vs. Joel Casamayor
James Toney vs. Vassily Jirov
Shane Mosley vs. Vernon Forrest
Jameel McCline vs. Lance Whitaker
Mike Tyson vs. Brian Nielsen
James Toney vs. Mike McCallum
Felix Trinidad vs. Bernard Hopkins
Emanuel Augustus vs. Micky Ward
Jesse James Leija vs. Hector Camacho Jr
Derrick Jefferson vs. Maurice Harris
Miguel Cotto vs. Carlos Quintana
Acelino Freitas vs. Zahir Raheem
Andy Lee vs. Brian Vera
Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson
Sergey Kovalev vs. Darnell Boone
Marcos Maidana vs. Devon Alexander
Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch
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