Lem Satterfield

Ward-Froch to be officiated by Smoger

“We absolutely hope that there are not cuts in this fight, and that the old cut doesn’t open up, but this is not something that I can worry about. To be honest, it’s something that, when we talk about this fight, it’s not even a topic of discussion,” said Ward.

“I think that the cut is fine, and I think that the doctor did the best job that he could do. I have one of the best cutmen if not the best cutman in the business in Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran, and he’s proven his worth in many fights before worked on me, but also, in my Edison Miranda fight and the Sakio Bika fight, so I’m not worried about it.”

Smoger also worked the fight in which Bernard Hopkins scored a 12th-round knockout victory over Felix Trinidad in September, 2001, adding Trinidad’s WBA belt to the WBC and IBF crowns Hopkins already owned.

Hopkins had landed a tremendous right to the head that sent Trinidad reeling backward and to the canvas, after which Trinidad struggled up at the count of 9 before Trinidad’s father and trainer, Don Felix, climbed into the ring and stopped the fight.

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Smoger allowed Shane Mosley to rise from two knockdowns and a bodyslam all in the first round of the ferocious beating he took on his way to a unanimous decision loss to Vernon Forrest in January of 2002.

Smoger was also in the ring when Kelly Pavlik dethroned Jermain Taylor as WBC and WBO middleweight beltholder by seventh-round knockout in September of 2007.

Taylor was slumped in the corner on his butt and declared “out cold” on the ropes by Smoger after having been nailed by several, hard left hooks from Pavlik, who trailed on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

“I’m happy with Steve Smoger. He actually refereed a 10-rounder that I boxed in the 1990s,” said Ward’s trainer Robert McCracken. “He’s a good referee, and he lets the fighters get on with it, so I think that it was a great decision to give him the job.”

Sometimes Smoger’s willingness to let fights go on attracts crtiticism, however, as with his delayed reaction in stopping the fight between cruiserweights Denis Lebedev and Roy Jones Jr.

Jones already was badly hurt and doubled over in a corner of the ring with his hands down near his waist when Smoger — standing back from the action — allowed Lebev to uncork a vicious left hook that caused Jones to pitch forward, face-first. Jones lay unconcious on the canvas for several seconds.

Read more:

Q&A: Referee Smoger discusses Khan-Peterson, Cotto-Margarito II stoppage

Ed Mulholland, Fightwire Images

 

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