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Referee Steve Smoger passes away at 72

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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.

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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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