One of the most talked-about bouts in recent Beltway Boxing History is still being talked about.
Recently, The Ring's Lem Satterfield caught up to referee Steve Smoger who is working tonight's co-feature between WBA Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and challenger Gabriel Rosado at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. While Smoger would not address the battle directly, he did tell our good friend Satterfield that he would let the boxers decide the outcome as best he could.
"Because my proclivity is to allow the fight to go to its natural
conclusion, and to let them solve it and to let them resolve it. That's a better term. But sometimes, there comes a time when I have to
make the call. But if I can prolong it and give them every opportunity,
so be it," Smoger told Satterfield.
In the article, Satterfield listed a number of notable bouts Smoger has refereed, including classic battles like Bernard Hopkins's victory over Felix Trinidad in September of 2001, the draw between Pawal Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez in July of 2011 and Miguel Cotto's win over Antonio Margarito in December 2011.
Another bout that came up in the conversation was Tony Jeter's split decision victory over Jimmy Lange at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA on October 27. Here is that part of the interview, which includes some interesting comments thrown my way:
RingTV.com: Was that hyperbole when you called Tony Jeter the dirtiest fighter you have ever seen?
SS: No that's fact. From the time that he walked out in the
first round, what you saw out of me was an exercise in patience. You're
bringing up good issues.
First minute, first round, he head-butted him. So I immediately stopped
it and I took a point. I took five points. I haven't taken five points
in 25 years in one fight.
But you might say, "Why didn't you disqualify him?" The reason that I
didn't disqualify him is that when he was fighting clean, he was beating
Lange in his own home town.
So, you know, I just never wanted to stop the kid, because when he
decided to fight clean, he was beating Lange. A lot of the stuff was
But still, I've spoken to other referees, and I think that four out of
five would have disqualified him. But I just felt that when he fought on
the straight and narrow, he fought well.
RingTV.com: What was he doing that led to all of the point deductions?
SS: Low blows. What was blatant was that he opened the show with a
head-butt. The first close quarter was a head-butt, so I thought, "Oh,
And then, he would try to slip stuff in. But I don't want to say that
my position was substantiated, but even -- and listen to this -- with
five points deducted, and he had a flash knockdown, he still wins on the
That means that there had to be 99-90, and that he had built up such a
lead that even five points didn't adversely affect the outcome.
RingTV.com: For you not to disqualify him before a crowd that was pro-Lange, what does that say about you?
SS: Just what we discussed before: Let it go to it's natural
conclusion. Here is a kid that comes in, hostile territory. When I'm in
there, though, it's only A and B. What I saw was, A) Tony doing a
RingTV.com: What do you think Tony should take away from that?
SS: If you pull it on me, the veteran status guy, then he probably
pulled it before. But it was so unnecessary. And I told him, "He's a
dirty [bleeping] fighter.
[Gary Digital Williams]
caught it. Digital caught it. Talk to Gary Digital, he saw it. Great
guy. I love him. Give him my best. He showed class, because he didn't
get on me.
Tell Gary that I appreciated that. Gary, what you saw from me was an
exercise in temperament, but Gary exercised temperament also.
RingTV.com: What's your message to Tony Jeter?
SS: Clean it up. You don't need to do that. He out-hustled, he was stronger, and we had worked together earlier.
I was shocked that he would treat me that way. Let him know that, because I think a lot of the kid.
Here is the entire interview:
Smoger to let fists decide Golovkin-Rosado by Lem Satterfield