Arum: Smoger Has Balls, Perfect For Cotto vs Margarito

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK — Not much regarding the pre-fight regulation of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito rematch pleased Bob Arum.

Nevertheless, the Hall-of-Fame promoter has no issue with the selection of Steve Smoger as the referee for this HBO Pay-Per-View main event Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Smoger, based near Atlantic City, typically give fighters every opportunity to fight out of trouble, thus there’s little chance of a premature stoppage when Puerto Rico’s Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) and Mexico’s Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs, 1 NC) meet in a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBA super welterweight title.

Smoger usually allows even the most brutal brawls to continue. That tendency could become important during what will certainly be a grueling encounter for how many ever rough rounds it lasts.

“The thing I like [about Smoger being the referee] is people want to see a fight,” Arum said. “People want to see a fight go as long as possible and Smoger’s credentials are that he refereed the first [Pawel] Wolak-[Delvin] Rodriguez fight. And with Wolak’s eye really swollen, he let the fight continue to the end. So Smoger is a gutty [guy]. He has balls. He’s a ballsy referee. I think that’s what the people want to see.”

Smoger permitted Wolak to box until the final bell against Rodriguez on July 15 in New York, despite that Wolak fought the final few rounds with surreal swelling surrounding his completely closed right eye. That highly entertaining slugfest resulted in a 10-round majority draw, which necessitated a rematch Saturday night on the Cotto-Margarito undercard.

Margarito knows Smoger’s reputation. “The Tijuana Tornado” just hopes neither Smoger nor the New York State Athletic Commission’s ringside physicians become overly protective of his surgically repaired right eye, especially in light of his recent licensing saga.

“I’m not worried about it,” Margarito said. “My eye is 100 percent. I’m just hoping that if they see my eye being inflamed, they don’t jump in and stop the fight. It’s part of boxing. But at the same time, I’m not going to let that happen. I’m prepared to fight. I’ve worked on different things, and one of them is to slip punches.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by -Jay- on 12-03-2011

Smoger is a fantastic referee, no complaints here. He should be selected for more of the big fights. There's a few old fellas that get too much credit that need to retire and join the pension queue.

Comment by Ringlife on 12-03-2011

Smoger is a good ref top five in my book right now.

Comment by SdBoxingFan83 on 12-02-2011

Who gives a **** who quit against who honestly I just want to see a good match and Smogler is the perfect guy to do the job. War Cotto WAR Margarito , Lets enjoy Boxing **** this Pr vs Mexico…

Comment by PRking718 on 12-02-2011

[QUOTE=JimmyMcNulty;11502486]Well, one went 12 rounds with Pacquaio half blind, the other gave up and ran after 5 rounds. Don't know why people call Cotto a warrior, there will only be 1 warrior in the ring on saturday night and he…

Comment by PR ESQ. on 12-02-2011

[QUOTE=JimmyMcNulty;11502486]Well, one went 12 rounds with Pacquaio half blind, the other gave up and ran after 5 rounds. Don't know why people call Cotto a warrior, there will only be 1 warrior in the ring on saturday night and he…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (20)
Top Headlines Tino Avila Wants To Dominate Ramirez, Fight For Title in 2017 Molina: Look at My Wilder Fight, I'll Raise Hell Against Joshua! David Haye: In 2017 I Will Be Heavyweight Champion - I Know It! De La Hoya To Critics: I Strongly Feel Canelo-Golovkin Will Happen Taras Shelestyuk Aims To Follow Gold Path of His Olympic Mates Brandon Rios a Free Agent, No Longer a Top Rank Fighter Katie Taylor Mulling Pro Move, Heading To Eddie Hearn? Fenech: Mundine-Green II is Bullsh*t Fight - Must Be Stopped! Nonito Donaire: I Want The Frampton vs. Santa Cruz Winner Next! Jack Doesn’t Take Much From DeGale’s Tough Fight with Medina Joshua's Fight Will Land on Showtime - Price, Jennings or Molina Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Could Air on CBS in Prime Time George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder Pacquiao Feels Brunt of Long Flight, Takes Off From Training Marquez: If Canelo Trades With Golovkin - He's Committing Suicide! Lucas Browne Finds Himself in Limbo After Klitschko's Injury Andre Ward Aims To Set The Record Straight With Sergey Kovalev Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Haye Explains Why Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina is Next - Not Price Marrero vs. Zambrano Talks Progress As Purse Bid Looms

Latest Active Forum Threads