International Boxing Hall of Fame Referee, the person in charge of over a 100 title bouts, the man who traveled the World ‘thanks to boxing’ – is only a very brief description of Steve Smoger.
Earlier this week I was honored to speak with the man himself, Steve Smoger, known as ‘Double S’. Residing in New Jersey, USA, Smoger has told us a few amazing facts of his long time career as a boxing referee. He has also kindly shared his professional opinion from across the ocean.
International Boxing Hall of Fame
The first and obvious question was about Steve’s 2015 induction into the IBHOF.
“My induction into the IBHOF on the first ballot, was the highest honor that I could achieve in the great sport of Professional Boxing. It represents the culmination of over 4 decades of work in the Ring.”
“Shortly after my induction in June, 2015, I was contacted by the Sports Division of the National Broadcasting Company [NBC TV] regarding the newly created position of Boxing Rules Consultant.”
“I accepted the position and joined the NBC ‘Boxing’ broadcast team of Marv Albert, Sugar Ray Leonard, BJ Flores, Kenny Rice and Steve Farhood.”
“2015 was a dynamic year! I worked 15 major boxing events on NBC TV Network.”
“NBC referred to me as their ‘International Boxing Hall of Fame’ Rules Consultant.”
“I am still an active Boxing Referee, however my NBC position has limited my availability to work in the ring.”
Steve Smoger, who has refereed over a hundred professional boxing title bouts, is the man I’ve asked a very sensitive question that bothers sport these days.
“The number of professional boxing sanctioning bodies and the number of ‘championships’ is truly incredible.”
“There can be as many as four ‘champions’ in each weight division according to each of the sanctioning organizations.”
“However, as a boxing official [Referee or Judge] you must adapt to current state of professional boxing. These boxing sanctioning organizations provide ‘title’ fight assignments for officials at a rate never seen before in our sport.”
“Personally, boxing sanctioning organizations have sent me all over the world, including Australia, to officiate boxing events.”
‘Double S’ Steve Smoger is a part of our popular Bigger’s Better series. Myself, I am a backbone of the group, being in charge of the digital media aspects. I’ve asked Steve what is his experience with BB.
“In my opinion, the exposure and recognition I received throughout Europe as a boxing official with the BB Team, played a significant role in my induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame – Class of 2015.”
“My experience with Bigger’s Better, Inc. (BB) was truly outstanding.”
“Working with the BB team, especially Jean-Christophe Courreges and Stephane Cabrera, was exciting and always a pleasure.”
“Officiating with the BB Team enabled me referee and judge highly competitive professional boxing matches throughout Europe on EuroSport Television Network.”
“As a result of working with BB, Boxrec.com, indicates that I have officiated in more countries then any other American Professional Boxing Referee.”
— WKN Kickboxing (@WKNWorldOffice) November 14, 2014
Since 2014 world’s best boxing referee Steve Smoger is qualified to be in charge of kickboxing bout. He is officially appointed by the W.K.N.
“If the WKN calls – I’ll be ready!”
“BB has been a great benefit to my officiating career,”
“In addition to officiating professional boxing matches throughout Europe, it gave me the opportunity to cross-train into the combat sport of Kickboxing.”
“Under the guidance of World Kickboxing Network [WKN] President Stephane Cabrera, I trained and prepared for the position of Professional Kickboxing Referee.
“I officiated several WKN Kickboxing bouts during BB events.”
“The training and guidance that I received through the WKN program prepared me for my participation in the WKN-BB ‘Girl Power’ event in Riga Latvia.”
“I continue to train in the procedures of a Kickboxing Referee and would hope that qualify for an event as prestige as ‘Fight Night Saint Tropez’.”
— WKN Kickboxing (@WKNWorldOffice) November 6, 2014
Steve Smoger is the busiest referee in the world. He has been on the business trips practically everywhere. He visited us here in Down Under twice.
“Officiating in Australia was on my officiating ‘Bucket List’ for many years.”
“My wish came true in November, 2011 when the International Boxing Organization [IBO] sent me to the beautiful city of Perth to referee ‘Wild’ Will Tomlinson vs Alan Herrera for the IBO super-featherweight world title.”
“The venue was the Challenge Stadium, Mt. Claremont. It was an exciting and dramatic fight won by Tomlinson by unanimous decision. ‘Wild’ Will sustained several severe cuts, but he gutted it out.”
“I have never lived more than one block from the Mighty Atlantic Ocean in beautiful Atlantic County, NJ, USA,”
“I love the ocean and the beach, so visiting Perth was a wonderful experience”
“I spent every minute of my free time in the magnificent Indian Ocean. My only concern was the sharks!”
“In May, 2012, I was assigned to referee ‘Wild’ Will’s first defence of his IBO super-featherweight title in Melbourne. ‘Wild’ Will vs Daniel Ruiz.”
“The IBO world title bout went to the scorecards after the seventh round due to a power outage and subsequent power failure.”
“It was the first time in my career that a world title bout ended as a result of a power failure,”
“Truly a unique experience, I’m reffing in the center of the ring and all the lights go out. The fighters literally disappeared.”
“Melbourne is a beautiful and very historic city. I enjoyed my time there,”
“Australia is a beautiful country and the people are very friendly and outgoing. I would return in a heartbeat!”
Green vs Mundine
I am not really an expert in boxing, I specialize in Muay Thai starting in 1998. Never the less, lately I’ve been quite curious about the hype Australian mass-media generates around the talks of the rematch between Australians Danny Green and Anthony Mundine. I’ve asked Steve, if there literally anything heard in New Jersey, or where the actual capital of boxing is.
“I’m a member of the Atlantic City Police Athletic League [AC PAL]. It’s a local government agency that serves the youth of Atlantic City, NJ, USA,”
“The AC PAL has an outstanding amateur boxing program and several professional fighter train there,”
“Only the ‘hard core’ older fight people know of Danny Green or Anthony Mundine,”
“Quite frankly, Green vs Mundine would draw ‘Zero’ interest in the Northeast USA,”
“Maybe there would be some interest in that bout in Las Vegas, NV or Los Angeles, CA, USA.”
“Even the old time boxing guys truly believe that Danny and Anthony are way past their prime.”
“The only ‘buzz’ in our gym AC PAL regarding an Aussie is Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne,”
“Fighters and trainers, especially the heavyweights, are very interested in his upcoming fight with Ruslan Chagaev.”
“I believe it will be an excellent ‘test’ for ‘Big Daddy’.”