Meet Steve Willis The Most Enthusiastic Referee In The World
Steve Willis is a name you may have heard of. In boxing circles, the man is a bit of a legend; a star referee who has overseen some of the greatest bouts in recent memory. Willis, from New York City, has gained a lot of popularity in recent days on account of his startling facial expressions in reaction to what is going on in the ring. In a world where referees usually keep their facial expressions as neutral as their impartial role dictates, Willis severely bucks the trend by reacting to each exchange with a new emotion plastered over his face.
Starting from humble beginnings, adjudicating in Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe in New York, Willis has now amassed a staggering 210 bouts since 2003. Within two years he was reffing at Madison Square Garden, one of the pinnacle venues of world boxing. But whilst the gig pays the bills, he obviously does it for the love of things having said on multiple occasions that he just loves being in the front row seat to the sport he loves.
Recently, the American referee oversaw the WBC Welterweight title fight between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. He earned his money that evening with the fight going the full 12 rounds. The intense concentration required by the ref cannot be understated. They have to be on for the full duration of the fight too! But television footage attracted a lot of attention as viewers noted publically just how much Willis seemed to be into it and how refreshing it was for the sport and for work-life in general. He quickly became a sensational meme encouraging people to find a career they love as much as he does.
The social media reaction mirrored this with Lou Di Bella tweeting:
Love this. Steve Willis is terrific. He’s one of the best referees in the sport of #boxing and he loves what he does. His facial expressions and body language during a fight are priceless; still, he does his job as a consummate pro. #GarciaPorter #enjoyyourjoblikestevewillis
Here are some of his best bits over the years:
Steve Willis Loves his job 🥊 👀 pic.twitter.com/GNim2VMiH2
— BOXING CORNER 2️⃣4️⃣/7️⃣ (@boxingcorner247) March 15, 2018
Hahaha my boy steve Willis!!!! pic.twitter.com/jcNYOUqMCR
— Raw boii (@RaiderNationRaw) September 9, 2018
Them: Why are you so obsessed with American referee Steve Willis?
— Dev Sahni (@sahnidev) March 7, 2018
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