Hall Of Fame Referee Steve Smoger Dies At 79
He was battling kidney failure.
UPDATE (12/20/22 10:24 a.m. ET): Initial reports said that Smoger was 72. But New Jersey Boxing Commissioner Larry Hazzard said that Smoger was born in 1943, making him 79 years old at the time of his passing. This article has also been updated with new information.
Another legendary boxer has passed away.
Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger died on Monday at the age of 79, according to Boxing Scene. He was initially reportedly battling an undisclosed illness, but it was later revealed to be kidney failure.
Iconic referee Mills Lane died at the age of 85 earlier this month on December 6. He had been battling the aftereffects of a stroke he had 20 years ago, which ended his career. He was best known for his officiating of the rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 1997 — “The Bite Fight.”
Smoger started his career in the early 1970s as a judge and referee for the Police Athletic League. Then, in 1984, he became a professional referee and officiated his first world title fight, which was for the IBF, in South Korea.
In 2015, Smoger was recognized with the sport’s biggest honor, and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was already part of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Spots Hall of Fame and Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
Smoger officiated nearly 200 title fights including Holmes vs. Mercer, Jones Jr. vs. Hopkins I, Pazienza vs. Duran II, Micky Ward vs. Augustus, Forrest vs. Mosley I, Pavlik vs. Taylor I and Andre Ward vs. Froch, to name a few.