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CANASTOTA, NY DECEMBER 19, 2022 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of referee Steve Smoger, who passed away today at the age of 72 following a long illness. 

    “For more than three decades Steve Smoger was third man in the ring for many of boxing’s most high profile bouts including over 200 title contests that earned him a reputation as one of boxing’s most respected officials,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame offers our condolences to the Smoger family and joins the boxing world in mourning his passing.”

    Smoger started in boxing in the early 1970s as a timekeeper, judge and referee for the Police Athletic League. With Atlantic City experiencing a pro boxing boom Smoger kept a busy pace as an inspector (1978-1983) in New Jersey. In 1984 he began his career as a professional referee there and two years later (1986) he officiated his first world title go, an IBF flyweight bout, in South Korea. Smoger was arbiter for such notable contests as McCallum vs. Toney I, Jones Jr. vs. Hopkins I, Pazienza vs. Duran II, Micky Ward vs. Augustus, Hopkins vs. Trinidad, Forrest vs. Mosley I, Pavlik vs.Taylor I and Andre Ward vs. Froch. Smoger was highly regarded for his preparation, ability and instinct in the ring.

    In 2015, Smoger was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.