Referee Steve Smoger will be the third man in the ring on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., when hometown favorite Paulie Malignaggi makes the first defense of his WBA welterweight title against Mexico City’s Pablo Cesar Cano on Showtime.
Smoger worked the last loss for Malignaggi, an 11th-round knockout by Amir Khan as a junior welterweight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May of 2010.
Smoger was also the official in April, when Malignaggi scored a ninth-round knockout over Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko to win his current title.
Malignaggi-Cano will be Smoger’s 172nd world title fight.
Ward had already scored third, fourth and final round knockdowns against RING and WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson before Dawson asked Smoger to stop it for a 10th-round knockout.
Smoger similarly stepped in to protect a bloody and battered Jason Escalera for an eighth-round stoppage when Rodriguez was still pummeling him along the ropes.
Below is the full lineup of referees and judges for Saturday night’s title fights.
Referee: Benji Esteves
Referee: Steve Smoger
Referee: Eddie Claudio
Referee: Arthur Mercante
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Photo by Ed Mullholland, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org