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‘Irreplaceable’ boxing referee Steve Smoger passes away

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Much-respected boxing referee Steve Smoger has passed away at the age of 72 – World Boxing News is saddened to report.

Tributes came early on Monday as reports broke that the ‘irreplaceable’ Smoger was no longer with us.

The World Boxing Council and many top figures in the sport led those.

“It is with a sad and heavy heart that we announce the passing of Steve Smoger,” said the WBC.

“A genuinely great boxing man, Steve will be greatly missed and always admired.

“The entire World Boxing Council Family and President Mauricio Sulaiman send our deepest condolences to Steve’s family and friends.

“No one is indispensable. Some people are irreplaceable.”

Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella added: “Rest in peace, Steve Smoger, an exemplary boxing referee and just a terrific guy. He loved our sport and the people in it; it was reflected in how he lived and worked.

“Live every day, friends; it’s a short ride. Heartfelt condolences to the Smoger family.”

Steve Smoger

He was born August 15, 1950, in Norfolk, VA. Steve’s interest in boxing was inspired by his father, as they spent time watching the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports.

Steve started his time in boxing in the early 1970s as a judge and referee for the Police Athletic League. With Atlantic City experiencing a pro boxing boom, Steve kept a busy pace as an inspector (1978-1983) in New Jersey.

In 1984 he began his career as a professional referee there. Two years later (1986), he officiated his first world title, an IBF flyweight bout, in South Korea.

Steve became one of the most respected and in-demand Referees in the sport.

In over three decades in boxing, Steve was the third man in the ring for nearly 200 title bouts. He officiated worldwide, including in Argentina, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Japan, and China.

He was the arbiter for such notable contests:

Canizales vs. Seabrooks

McCallum vs. Toney I

Holmes vs. Mercer

Jones Jr. vs. Hopkins I

Pazienza vs. Duran II

Micky Ward vs. Augustus

Hopkins vs. Trinidad

Forrest vs. Mosley I

Pavlik vs.Taylor I

Andre Ward vs. Froch

Andre Ward vs. Dawson

Garcia vs. Judah.

WBN would like to offer our condolences to the Smoger family.