Courtesy Jim Jenkins, Sacramento Bee
Terry Smith, former attorney and Sacramento boxing referee who officated several world title fights in the U.S. and abroad, has died. A native of England, Smith succumbed after a long illness Wednesday at age 76. He began his ring career as an amateur boxer, winning a 156-pound national title in 1959 for Sacramento State when boxing was an intercollegiate sport. In 1960, he was an alternate on a then Cassius Clay-led U.S. Olympic team but never saw action and then had a brief pro career. An attorney for the Sacramento District Attorney’s office, Smith was highly-respected by peers as a referee and judge, but his expertise was tested in a 1987 fight in Sacramento. He braved an angry crowd after disqualifying hometown favorite Tony Lopez for throwing an extra punch after flattening an opponent. To his credit, Lopez never held a grudge and won the rematch by knockout en route to a world junior-lightweight title. “Terry made the right call against Tony but, gosh, that took guts,” said friend and fellow ref Jon Schorle, who was tutored by Smith. Private services are planned.