The Teflon Referee

Teflon Referee – Better one punch too early than one punch too late. — Anonymous

“Nobody Doesn’t Like Sara Lee” — Jingle

“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…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” — Steve Smoger.

“The most amazing aspect of boxing – is the ability of a human being to get up when he’s hurt.”—Smoger

Steve Smoger is as good a referee as any fighter could ever hope to have protecting him–Ron Borges

“[Steve] Smoger is widely thought of as fair and unbiased. People in boxing know that certain referees favor the house fighter, but that’s not the case with Smoger. Fighters and trainers trust him far more than they trust most referees.”—Thomas Hauser

“Boxing is a dirty business. It always has been. Promoters, managers, state commissions and TV networks are all looking to do what is best for them, regardless of how it affects the fighters. The one place that fighters should be guaranteed a fair chance is between the ropes. Steve Smoger is the kind of ref that makes sure that they have that chance. Vive Le Smoger.”- Matthew Swain, the Queensbury Rules

As Bernard Fernandez points out, Steve Smoger alias “Double S,” alias “SS,” is just the 11th individual to be inducted into the IBHOF because of his achievements as a referee. He joins Arthur Donovan (1994), Ruby Goldstein (1994), Arthur Mercante Sr. (1995), George Siler (1995), Stanley Christodoulou (2004), Larry Hazzard (2010), Joe Cortez (2011), Mills Lane (2013), Eugene Corri (2014) and Richard Steele (2014).

Over the years, Smoger has won more awards than “Carter Has Pills.” Criticizing SS, probably the busiest referee in the world, is virtually blasphemous even though his relatively recent body of work has been marred by a documented reluctance to stop fights “too soon.” Nevertheless, many boxing journalists worship at the altar of Steve Smoger. It’s almost as if no one will dare criticize him because to do so is to risk heresy and shrill criticism from his supporters and from the less-informed sycophants. And what writer wants that? Here is an in-shape Smoger with Teddy Atlas doing some “Fight Plan” schmaltz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k88I68IdiM

The prolific “Double S” was once (along with Wayne Kelly) one of my personal favorites. He was often referred to as an invisible third man in the ring, but that was then and this is now and now he is no longer in shape or invisible. Au contraire, overweight, long in the tooth (he turns 66 in August), and with his belt virtually up to his chest in gnome-like fashion, Smoger is slow afoot and stays too far away from the action. When he does get in close, he appears overly tentative and too weak to break the fighters apart, frequently using both hands to push them away. Moreover, his long-standing practice of allowing both fighters to hold and hit has grown stale. Thankfully, he has dispensed with his strange leg raising ritual at the end of each round reminiscent of something out of a burlesque act.

However, his signature semi-laissez-faire style remains intact and it is as fan-friendly as ever. As Bob Arum puts it, “Smoger is a gutty guy. He has balls. He’s a ballsy referee, and I think that that’s what people want to see.” And maybe Bob is right but there needs to be some balance here.

Nobody can be “that good.”

2010

“Fighter’s lives are at stake. When you use refereeing all for self-aggrandizement, it galls me to no end. This guy [Smoger] has to be stopped and no one has the courage sitting at ringside to put an end to this nonsense” –Larry Hazzard (From “Steve Smoger A Disgrace To Boxing – Kisses Davis During Stoppage!”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6np_J4CUiMo

In 2010, Yuriorkis Gamboa used Rogers Mtagwa for target practice. Even though Smoger warned Mtagwa that the end was near, the Tanzanian–born fighter subsequently took a vicious beating showcasing Gamboa’s ability to land at will with his slashing left hook.  It was ugly to watch and listening to the commentator say “good stoppage” at the end punctuated the ugliness. Mtagwa was never the same, losing three of his next four bouts. Judge for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w32aohgV_j8

2011

Who can forget the way Smoger let Roy Jones Jr. take unnecessarily dangerous punishment from the bruising Denis Lebedev in Moscow in 2011?  Harsh and widespread criticism followed but nothing came of it except that it established a high-profile benchmark that appeared on everyone’s radar.  SS’s lame explanation that he thought Jones was faking was of no consolation to Roy, not that it mattered because Roy was already an unconscious rag doll.

On this very same Moscow card (and very much under the radar), mismatched Ugandan Hamza Wandera took over-the-top punishment from rangy Ismayl Sillah. The strange end came in the third when Sillah finally cornered Wandera with a malicious volley causing the Ugandan cruiserweight to literally run across the ring with Ismayl chasing him while SS, instead of calling an immediate stoppage, looked on. In the end, Wandera absorbed looping haymakers before Smoger finally deigned to halt the mugging.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnXETuramsw

In all fairness to Smoger, Wandera, the younger brother of former IBF champion Kassim Ouma, had a history of irregular ring behavior, even hitting one unsuspecting opponent at the opening tap.

2013

“Hopkins-Murat will not be played at Steve Smoger’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony” — Adam Abramowitz

The Murat-Hopkins debacle and the Kirkland-Tapia slaughter have been fully vetted. Suffice it to say that Glen’s recent stoppage loss to David Lemieux reflected just how career-altering that single punch from Kirkland may have been. Eric Raskin in INSIDE HBO BOXING made this observation: “I could just as easily call this my “Worst Blow,” since it was a dirty punch from Kirkland and the result of a poor refereeing performance by Steve Smoger. The punch never should have happened. But it did, and it made me cringe more than any other shot delivered in 2013. For sheer viciousness and violence, nothing topped that last left hand from Kirkland that left us all fearing for Tapia’s well-being.”

2014

On July 26, 2014, Anthony Caputo Smith was needlessly butchered (and likely ruined) by a series of concussive Ola Afolabi uppercuts at Madison Square Garden; Instead of stopping the massacre, Smoger began an unnecessary count and  then asked a bleeding and totally beaten, albeit courageous, Caputo if he wanted to continue. Caputo deserved a more dignified finish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfsig9KvLYo

Fast Forward-to May 21, 2016

Incredibly, for the second time in a Denis Lebedev fight in Moscow, Smoger was too late and too slow.  Lebedev destroyed Victor Emilio Ramirez using him as an uppercut bag until Ramirez turned his back, but “SS” allowed Ramirez to absorb more jarring and needless punches before stopping the onslaught. It is this kind of punishment that can have terrible deferred consequences. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXoWj1V_jZE

The Present

Smoger’s relationship with the NYSAC apparently is such that the New Jersey resident is able to secure some plum assignments and he was even appointed by former NYSAC Executive Director David Berlin to conduct a seminar for other NY Area referees, but I’ll leave that story to be told by someone else.  Berlin is gone and Teddy Atlas has all but vanished, but Smoger keeps on truckin’ with plenty of varied and juicy assignments on his buffet table.

Clearly a prolific referee is bound to have some “off days,” but this is boxing and off days need to be kept to an absolute minimum.

In the end, Steve Smoger remains someone to whom criticism simply does not seem to stick.  He is the Teflon Referee and while not quite like Sara Lee, he is pretty close.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing.

Teflon Referee

 

Comment on this article

COMMENTS

-JohnnyTango :

Wow, you really did your homework on this one Ted. A very good breakdown. Personally, I liked the late Mitch Halpern and Mills Lane, but didn't care much for Richard Steele. In my opinion, Steele over ref'd fight. He was always in the picture. I loved your use of this: "Semi-laissez-faire style." Beautiful!


-Kid Blast :

Thanks Tango. Stay safe in those Cali wildfires. This is a YouTube that replaces the one in the "Fast Forward-to May 21, 2016" paragraph.
->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dv2s8K677U I'll rest my case on this one. But I am getting ready for some incoming.


-Kid Blast :

And then compare this one between Ismail Sillakh vs. Hamza Wandera and watch it at about the 2 minute mark or slightly before as Wandera turns his back and runs across the ring:
->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REfofylEIz8


-brownsugar :

Some great clips and commentary Ted,. ...just think if Gamboa could have stayed the course we might have had a prime Gamboa vs a prime Lomanchenko. Sillachk was one of my favorite fighters, his career didn't pan out either. I don't know what it is about Smoger, he just seems like a cool dude. Although I must admit he has seemed to be a little too casual in a few of his recent stoppages. Great fact finding.


-Radam G :

Wow, you really did your homework on this one Ted. A very good breakdown. Personally, I liked the late Mitch Halpern and Mills Lane, but didn't care much for Richard Steele. In my opinion, Steele over ref'd fight. He was always in the picture. I loved your use of this: "Semi-laissez-faire style." Beautiful!
Ditto! Holla!


-stormcentre :

Good read Ted.
Storm. :) :) :)


-larueboenig :

Spot on. You call them the way you see them. No hero worship from Ted The Bull.


-dollar bond :

Ouch


-Kid Blast :

Some great clips and commentary Ted,. ...just think if Gamboa could have stayed the course we might have had a prime Gamboa vs a prime Lomanchenko. Sillachk was one of my favorite fighters, his career didn't pan out either. I don't know what it is about Smoger, he just seems like a cool dude. Although I must admit he has seemed to be a little too casual in a few of his recent stoppages. Great fact finding.
Thank sugar. Much appreciated. Gamboa can still come back and Sillachk was also one of my favorites until Grachev exposed him. He is now on the comeback trail but Kovalev slaughtered him.


-Kid Blast :

Spot on. You call them the way you see them. No hero worship from Ted The Bull.
I'm a lot of things --some maybe not so great---but hero worshiper is not one of them and never will be one of them.


-Kid Blast :

Ditto! Holla!
Thanks G


-Kid Blast :

Good read Ted.
Storm. :) :) :)
Thank you STorm


-JohnnyTango :

It's hotter than a son-of-a-bitch inland, but I'm across the street from the beach on Ocean Drive in Oxnard. It's in the high 70s and very comfortable. If you didn't know this already, Oxnard is the home of elite trainer Robert Garcia with his stable of fighter that has put Oxnard on the map. It's the Kronk Gym West! Oxnard is also the home of Fernando Vargas ... but some of us don't brag about that. Oops, I almost forgot Lupe Aquino! He's one hell of a nice, humble guy.


-Kid Blast :

Back on March 6, 1999 in Atlantic City, big Lance Whittaker launched an eye-popping 122 punches in the sixth round of his fight with Lou Savarese (38-2). Lou finally took a knee at which point the following occurred: Lou goes down, the count of 5 is reached and while Savarese is struggling to get up, referee Steve Smoger says “Take your time, baby.” After the count of 6 he said something else which is inaudible, and after the 8 count he seems to say “come on” and after the count of 9 he says “you’re alright”. He then asks “are you alright?” Savarese nods, and he lets the fight continue. Savarese survived the horrific sixth round beating and went on to somehow win an SD ending Whittaker’s undefeated streak at 18. An ensuing controversy turned on whether Savarese beat the count and if he was coached by Smoger. For me, it was the first time I questioned the heretofore unassailable Smoger’s Smoger not because I thought he was coaching Lou but because I felt the fight should have been stopped in the sixth. The beating Lou took was savage. In January of 2002, Smoger allowed Shane Mosley to rise from two knockdowns and being slammed to the canvas on a third occasion all in the first round of a ferocious beating absored during his ud loss to a prime Vernon Forrest that dethroned Mosley as WBC welterweight titleholder. On March 29, 2014, Smoger was involved in a dreadful clinch fest in which Thomas Dulorme put on a clinic on how to hold without getting caught against Karim Mayfield. SS also failed to call two low blows on Dulorme. Even the overly tolerant and politically correct HBO announcers commented on this one. There have been other eyebrow-raising instances. For example, the way Double-S handled the stoppage in the second Cotto-Margarito affair suggested to some that he was looking to the doctors for a noncontroversial way out when he had the authority to stop the fight on his own (though admittedly many were skittish about the Margo’s eye even before the fight began). Conversely, he let Pawel Wolak continue against Delvin Rodriquez (during their first bruising fight) even though Wolak’s eye looked worse than Margarito’s. “It’s ugly but I can stand it. Let them roll,” said Smoger about Wolak’s eye swollen to the size of a small grapefruit. Wolak would only fight one more time. But this from Bleacher Report: "Smoger's method of officiating may be criticized by some, but he always gives fighters the benefit of the doubt and gives them every possible chance to come back. "For instance, take the recent throwback-style battle between Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez. Wolak's eye was grotesquely swollen, despite the fact that he was giving as good as he was getting that night. "A less-experienced or different referee probably would've stopped the fight and awarded the TKO victory to Rodriguez, but Smoger saw that it was a back and forth brawl, and in this specific set of circumstances, he adapted his refereeing and allowed Wolak to continue."
->http://bleacherreport.com/articles/895196-the-best-boxing-referees-in-the-sport-of-boxing




-Kid Blast :

It's hotter than a son-of-a-bitch inland, but I'm across the street from the beach on Ocean Drive in Oxnard. It's in the high 70s and very comfortable. If you didn't know this already, Oxnard is the home of elite trainer Robert Garcia with his stable of fighter that has put Oxnard on the map. It's the Kronk Gym West! Oxnard is also the home of Fernando Vargas ... but some of us don't brag about that. Oops, I almost forgot Lupe Aquino! He's one hell of a nice, humble guy.
Lupe is a decent guy for sure.


-JohnnyTango :

Do you have any favorite refs, Ted?


-JohnnyTango :

Maureen Shea, too!


-Kid Blast :

One of my very favorites. She is from NYC and does some powerlifting (squats) in here training routine. I dearly love her.


-Kid Blast :

Do you have any favorite refs, Ted?
I do, I always determine that by asking myself the question: If I had a son who was a boxer, what referee would I feel the best about for my son's fights? A few come quickly to mind. Luis Pabon, Bob Benoit, Ron Lipton, Tony Weeks, Stanley Christodoulou, Eddie Claudio, Jack Reiss, Charlie Fitch, and some more. Soon as I can think of them, I'll add them. Boxing needs more Luis Pabon’s and fewer referees who play Russian roulette with ring stoppages. Las Vegas has a pool of fine referees (Tony Weeks is one of my favorites), but if the Nevada Commission needs to go outside for an extravaganza, they should keep in mind this referee. Well known (in Europe) and longtime Italian boxing judge and referee Massimo Barrovecchio worked the Klitschko-Adamek fight in Poland and did an extraordinary job as he moved about the ring with light-footed grace and remained virtually invisible until he appeared at just the right time to signal the end to that beat down. He too is one of my favorites. I like Pete Pod out of Chicago as well.


-deepwater2 :

Richard Steele was one of my favs. I used to like Smoger until Commish , Randy Gordon, pointed some things out a few years back. That Hopkins Murat fight was an incredibly bad night for Smoger. Murat had two fighters against him that night. No one is perfect but Kid Blast correctly points out all the sloppy work Smoger has done. Time to call it a day Steve.


-deepwater2 :

I like Eddie Claudio a lot also. Nice guy. He still goes to the USA boxing meetings and holds his amateur ref book too. Ron Lipton is an honest no nonsense ref who will never buckle to outside influence. That is a man you want next to you in the foxhole.


-Kid Blast :

I like Eddie Claudio a lot also. Nice guy. He still goes to the USA boxing meetings and holds his amateur ref book too. Ron Lipton is an honest no nonsense ref who will never buckle to outside influence. That is a man you want next to you in the foxhole.
Or refereeing if your son is fighting.


-Kid Blast :

Richard Steele was one of my favs. I used to like Smoger until Commish , Randy Gordon, pointed some things out a few years back. That Hopkins Murat fight was an incredibly bad night for Smoger. Murat had two fighters against him that night. No one is perfect but Kid Blast correctly points out all the sloppy work Smoger has done. Time to call it a day Steve.
Yep. Randy has his number and has had for some time now.


-oubobcat :

Richard Steele was one of my favs. I used to like Smoger until Commish , Randy Gordon, pointed some things out a few years back. That Hopkins Murat fight was an incredibly bad night for Smoger. Murat had two fighters against him that night. No one is perfect but Kid Blast correctly points out all the sloppy work Smoger has done. Time to call it a day Steve.
I was at Hopkins-Murat and it was bad. I wanted Hopkins to win that night but felt for Murat afterwards. My opinion on Smoger turned sour after witnessing that fight. I remember too hearing a few weeks later that he would be officiating Kirkland-Tapia in Atlantic City. The boxing media applauded the move by the commission as Smoger being the right man for the fight. Well we know how that turned out. Smoger has always been known of course as a referee who gives fighters the benefit of the doubt. But until the summer of 2011, I knew him as a referee of course and always thought he was fair. Then the Rodriguez-Wolak fight. If anyone re-watches that fight, the announcing team makes compliments Smoger on allowing the fight to continue as much as the two combatants waging war. Frankly, that fight should have been stopped though Wolak was determined to make it to the end. It could have been serious and Wolak took a lot of unnecessary punches (many which he obviously couldn't see) in my opinion. Wolak fought once more, the rematch with Rodriguez, in which he was basically shut out and looked like a shell of himself only six months later. I think that the ESPN commentary of Smoger during the first Rodriguez-Wolak fight put him on a pedestal in the eyes on many and grew his ego ten fold. It gave him a career resurrection and made him from after thought referee to part of the show. Since that fight, we have seen many instances of Smoger not being on top of things. Most recently, as already pointed out, was the Lebedev-Ramirez fight in which Ramirez went defenseless and Lebedev was allowed to land hard punch after hard punch with nothing coming back from Ramirez. It was allowed to continue 30 seconds too long and was obvious to everyone but Smoger that it should have been stopped sooner. It is time for him to call it a career, maybe become a rules analyst at ESPN on the side or something to that effect. But if he continues, I fear someone may get seriously hurt as we are having way too many close calls with him in the ring.


-Kid Blast :

I was at Hopkins-Murat and it was bad. I wanted Hopkins to win that night but felt for Murat afterwards. My opinion on Smoger turned sour after witnessing that fight. I remember too hearing a few weeks later that he would be officiating Kirkland-Tapia in Atlantic City. The boxing media applauded the move by the commission as Smoger being the right man for the fight. Well we know how that turned out. Smoger has always been known of course as a referee who gives fighters the benefit of the doubt. But until the summer of 2011, I knew him as a referee of course and always thought he was fair. Then the Rodriguez-Wolak fight. If anyone re-watches that fight, the announcing team makes compliments Smoger on allowing the fight to continue as much as the two combatants waging war. Frankly, that fight should have been stopped though Wolak was determined to make it to the end. It could have been serious and Wolak took a lot of unnecessary punches (many which he obviously couldn't see) in my opinion. Wolak fought once more, the rematch with Rodriguez, in which he was basically shut out and looked like a shell of himself only six months later. I think that the ESPN commentary of Smoger during the first Rodriguez-Wolak fight put him on a pedestal in the eyes on many and grew his ego ten fold. It gave him a career resurrection and made him from after thought referee to part of the show. Since that fight, we have seen many instances of Smoger not being on top of things. Most recently, as already pointed out, was the Lebedev-Ramirez fight in which Ramirez went defenseless and Lebedev was allowed to land hard punch after hard punch with nothing coming back from Ramirez. It was allowed to continue 30 seconds too long and was obvious to everyone but Smoger that it should have been stopped sooner. It is time for him to call it a career, maybe become a rules analyst at ESPN on the side or something to that effect. But if he continues, I fear someone may get seriously hurt as we are having way too many close calls with him in the ring.
Perfect


-Kid Blast :

Test The last seconds and announcement of the winner says all that is necessary on this disgraceful video.
->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGLDPa8zP_o


-FrankinDallas :

Smoger is probably 3 or 5 years past his due-by date. I think we can all agree referee is a tough job; when they stop a fight too soon fans make noise and when they let a fight go too long fans scream bloody murder. Obviously there is a fine line between the two sometimes but letting a fight go too long is worse as it can cause physical damage to a boxer. Sometimes the corner is at fault. During all the bad non-stoppages mentioned above, where was the corner? Were they throwing in a towel that Smoger ignored? Probably not. IMO corners have let boxers go way too long more times than a referee has.


-Kid Blast :

Smoger is probably 3 or 5 years past his due-by date. I think we can all agree referee is a tough job; when they stop a fight too soon fans make noise and when they let a fight go too long fans scream bloody murder. Obviously there is a fine line between the two sometimes but letting a fight go too long is worse as it can cause physical damage to a boxer. Sometimes the corner is at fault. During all the bad non-stoppages mentioned above, where was the corner? Were they throwing in a towel that Smoger ignored? Probably not. IMO corners have let boxers go way too long more times than a referee has.
Points taken and when the corner includes a relative like a father, it is even more dangerous IMO.


-stormcentre :

I wonder if Smoger has read this thread? Would love to be the fly on the wall, if he has. :) :)


-dollar bond :

Sickening. He hugs the winner and shoves the loser


-Kid Blast :

I wonder if Smoger has read this thread? Would love to be the fly on the wall, if he has. :) :)
He is more than welcome to dispute any of the content. And if he makes his case, I will acknowledge it and move on. But my points are based on video footage and an interpretation of that footage. If he did not shove Murat and hug Hopkins, I will retract what I said. If he did not stop the Lebedev slaughter of Ramirez when Ramirez turned his back, I will retract that as well. Same with Wandera. If he was not late on Jones Junior, ok. And so on and so on. The thing is I do not care for a referee who will let fighters fight to their natural conclusion. For me, better too early than too late. But if I have been unfair to SS, I will consider an apology if he asks for one. It's in the footage. It's all there. Smoger has done some outstanding work, but some not so good. Like Celestino Ruiz out of Chicago who has been roundly criticized by me in the past, but in all fairness did an outstanding job last week in the fight won by Rashee Warren in Chicago.

"“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…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” — Steve Smoger."


-Tex Hassler :

Steve Smoger is a fine referee. I have watched him at work in fights for many years. He is totally fair in my opinion. I wish I could say that about all referees but I honestly cannot.


-Kid Blast :

Steve Smoger is a fine referee. I have watched him at work in fights for many years. He is totally fair in my opinion. I wish I could say that about all referees but I honestly cannot.
Heck, Tex, where have you been?


-KidHersh :

Well researched, well documented here. Good research and writeup we need all matter of opinion around (no I'm not brushing off your findings as opinion by saying that). I have always been a Smoger fan because I love a battle and love a battle to conclusion. That being said, as I get out more and more and see punch drunk fighters it makes me cringe at seeing the natural conclusion or prolonged beating at times now. Ever talk to a punchy ex pug? Yeh, it's tough when you love the sport but see the potential effects right in front of you and try to interact. Kid - what would you say about there having to be a spectrum of referees? Always being a balanced person I would suggest that perhaps there needs to a spectrum to choose from (as there invariably is now). You have some that stop quickly and some on the SS end (to natural conclusion). I know we would like a standard to go by of course but I believe it's like judging where it's just nearly impossible to have that narrowly defined perfection because of the millions of factors including human error.


-Kid Blast :

Solid points, Kid, very good, but actually I favor a pool of fewer referees who thereby gain more experience. Also, if lean towards those who have had the experience of being in the ring such as Ron Lipton or Charlie Dwyer. Under no circumstances do I favor a referee who allows fights to go to their natural conclusion and/or stops fights too late. But that's just my opinion and it's not shared by all. Bottom line, I like a Larry Hazzard type who views the fighter's welfare as paramount rather than a Smoger who, in my view, plays to what the fans seem to want. Also, I think you can get closer to perfection with refereeing than you can with judging. But both are highly subjective to be sure. Thanks Kid


-KidHersh :

Solid points, Kid, very good, but actually I favor a pool of fewer referees who thereby gain more experience. Also, if lean towards those who have had the experience of being in the ring such as Ron Lipton or Charlie Dwyer. Under no circumstances do I favor a referee who allows fights to go to their natural conclusion and/or stops fights too late. But that's just my opinion and it's not shared by all. Bottom line, I like a Larry Hazzard type who views the fighter's welfare as paramount rather than a Smoger who, in my view, plays to what the fans seem to want. Also, I think you can get closer to perfection with refereeing than you can with judging. But both are highly subjective to be sure. Thanks Kid
Right on, can't disagree with any of that. And like I said my opinion is starting to change as I make it around more and invariably talk to more ex pugs. There have been two in particular where it was really sad. Add to that one was still getting licensed because he was in "good physical shape" and it changed me at least a bit.


-Kid Blast :

Right on, can't disagree with any of that. And like I said my opinion is starting to change as I make it around more and invariably talk to more ex pugs. There have been two in particular where it was really sad. Add to that one was still getting licensed because he was in "good physical shape" and it changed me at least a bit.
I too know a lot of ex -fighters who suffer from dementia and it is horrible to witness.


-Tex Hassler :

One thing any referee can be sure of is that he cannot please every person on earth.


-Kid Blast :

Point taken Tex