|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - June 08, 2015
Congratulations go out to Nigel Collins and Steve Smoger, both of whom will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York on Sunday, June 14th. Both Collins and Smoger are from the Philadelphia area and have served our local boxing scene for decades, as well as having a worldwide impact on the sport of boxing.
Collins was born in England in 1946 and began writing about boxing for The Ring in 1973 as a Philadelphia and Atlantic City correspondent. Ten years later, Collins became the editor of the monthly magazine Boxing Illustrated, and in 1985 began his first run as editor-in-chief of The Ring. Collins left the "Bible of Boxing" in 1989. The following year, Collins authored the boxing tell-all, "Boxing Babylon", a popular chronicle of boxing's darker moments and scandals throughout the years.
Collins returned to The Ring in 1993, and four years later, again became the editor-in-chief. He held the job until 2011.
Currently, Nigel is a columnist for ESPN.com and does social media commentary during ESPN fights.
Collins was honored in 2007 with the James J. Walker Award for "Long and Meritorious Service" by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), and entered the PA Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012.
Nigel will enter the IBHOF in the "Observers" category.
Steve Smoger was born in Norfolk, VA in 1950 and became a boxing fan early in his life. In the 1970s, he served as a time keeper, judge and referee in the amateur ranks. In 1978, Smoger began officiating professional bouts in Atlantic City, mostly as an inspector, and refereed his first professional fight in 1984. Before long, Smoger became one of the busiest and most respected referees in the business.
He has refereed all over the world and until 2015, remained a staple on the Philadelphia and Atlantic City fight scene. Earlier this year, he accepted a post as an on-air broadcaster for the "Premiere Boxing Champions" TV series, where Smoger serves as a rules expert. The job has temporarily suspended his in-ring officiating.
However, Smoger has refereed close to 200 world title bouts including Hopkins-Trinidad, Pavlik-Taylor I, Holmes-Mercer, Toney-Jirov, Cotto-Margarito II, Ward-Froch, Golovkin-Rosado, Garca-Judah, and many, many more.
Smoger will enter the IBHOF in the "Non-Participants" category.
Joining Collins and Smoger as IBHOF inductees on Sunday are boxers Riddick Bowe, Ray Mancini, Prince Naseem Hamed, Yoko Gushiken, Masao Ohba, Ken Overlin, Non-Participants John F. X. Condon (Publicist), Rafael Mendoza (Manager), and broadcaster Jim Lampley.
Congratulations to all the inductees, especially Nigel Collins and Steve Smoger, for their exceptional careers and this special honor.