As a resident of Pennsylvania it was such a relief finally seeing a Boxing Commissioner nominated in Rick Steigerwald. In a state where Steigerwald is a commissioner for the state he helps oversee each event that he works in Pennsylvania.
Steigerwald has been a solid referee dating back to 1987 and it has been my pleasure nominating him for the PAB HOF in 2018 as one of the committee members on the PAB HOF. This year it will be more than nominating him again but in 2020 I predict his deserved induction!
Steigerwald had the following to say:
As Commissioner, I am proud to work for the PSAC and the other commissioners. We are one of the best commissions in the US. I have overseen a lot of Boxing and MMA, UFC, Kickboxing and Wrestling. I helped start the first Voluntary Amateur boxing Baseline concussion program for the Pa. Golden Gloves, USA Boxing and have guided many promotors, trainers and fighters to achieve their goals in all matters of the combat sports here.
My main goal from day one in office was to protect our fighters here! The new generation of fighters I want to protect because I want them to prosper when their boxing days are over with their family.
In 1977-78 I became an amateur boxing referee. I took over refereeing for the famous Pa. boxer Bobby Baker when his knees gave out. My first matches were in Western Penitentiary and I continued doing all Pa. prison boxing for 10 years. I refereed over 1,000 great fights in thee. I also did many on the outside too, doing the Pa. Golden Gloves and many other tournaments from 1977 till my appointment in 2015.
As Commissioner I have helped start the first Voluntary Amateur boxing Baseline Testing (concussions). We have tested over 300 amateur fighters here including the Cuban, Italian and Irish teams that we have hosted here. I was involved in taking the first Boxing team, from Pittsburgh, Pa., to train the Cuban team at their training center.
I refereed my first pro match in 1987, and did a lot of undercard matches. The Pa. Commissioner that assigned me to my first title was Richard (Biff) Baer. Since then I have refereed at least 500 pro bouts. I am working to correct my referee record with www.boxrec and the Pa. State Athletic Commission. It has been quite a task because of record keeping.
I think I have refereed about 25 title fights, most notably IBF Lightweight champion Paul Spadafora title matches. I was awarded 4 of his championship fights on HBO, ESPN and Showtime. The other notable fights were Robbie Peden vs Juan Manual Marquez on HBO. Other fighters were champion Jermain Taylor, champion Michael Moorer, David Tua, Ronato Cornett, Joe Mesi, Billy Irwin, champion Winky Wright, Michael Grant, Monty Mesa Clay, Fres Oquendo, Angel Manfredy and Sammy Vasquez. I have also refereed Celebrity matches for the Howard Stern show, Crazy Cabbie vs Stuttering John in Atlantic City.
As far as my amateur boxing career, I started at the age of 11 on the Northside of Pittsburgh in 1966 and fought in many smokers, tournaments and the streets. As far as I recall and checking sketch records kept back then I had 50 amateur fights with 4 losses with 26 KO’s. My dad, Paul Steigerwald and Jack Staudenmaier trained me. I had fights everywhere from West Virginia, Ohio to Philly and my last fight was in 1977 for the Pa. State Golden Gloves 139lb open title against Michael Ross at the Palestra. I had won numerous tournaments, WV Silver Gloves a couple of times and the Pa. Golden Gloves 3 times in 3 different weight divisions.
Boxing writer Dave Ruff had this to say about Steigerwald. “I saw him in the Golden Gloves in 1977 and can see he is just as tough now as commissioner as he was then as a fighter”.