Boxing News: Michael Buffer; Meet Mosley and Mora; Kevin McIntyre
In his 25th year announcing boxing events and known throughout the world for his trademark “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer will call his 40th fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday night when “Super” Joe Calzaghe meets “Superman” Roy Jones Jr. in “Battle of the Super Powers” for Calzaghe’s Ring Magazine light heavyweight championship live on HBO Pay-Per-View..
Article posted on 06.11.2008
Reflecting back on history, Buffer shares his most memorable moments of his illustrious career.
BIGGEST FIGHT TO DATE
Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather…awesome event with record PPV buys…HBO’s ”24/7″” was a work of art preparing the fans.
FIRST FIGHT AT MSG
June ‘83, Duran vs. Davey Moore (Roberto Duran comes back from oblivion to capture 154 lb title in first MSG sellout since Ali-Frazier II). This was my first super-fight, at this time I had only done three to four ESPN shows in Atlantic City and sent Bob Arum a letter convincing him I could handle it (little did he know I was scared to death)! Highlight of the evening–for me–was introducing old-time fighters, including Muhammad Ali who came into the ring as the final intro and went down the line like royalty to a standing ovation.
HOW MANY TITLE FIGHTS
As I never thought this would become a career, I never kept a record…have no idea…must be 500-600 fights.
BEST FIGHT ATMOSPHERE (S)
Bismark, ND…Virgil Hill was a local hero who, as an Olympic silver medalist, had captured LT HW world title and defended it, on ABC, in front of 10,000 fans and the noise was deafening…before we went on the air I asked them to show the world their appreciation for the challenger (from Africa) and they gave him a huge ovation.
When Steve Wynn opened the MIRAGE in Vegas he had Duran vs. Leonard III outdoors…December, freezing cold, tons of celebrities, fireworks–fight was horrible, event was spectacular!
Prince Nazim’s fights in England were always electric with super entrances. Most fights in the ”big room” at MSG are great with a few rare ”klunkers.” Manilla, Philippines, was insane with Manny Paquiao fighting as he is ”GOD” in that country.
MOST UNUSUAL PLACES TO ANNOUNCE BOXING
Radio City Music Hall (Roy Jones Jr. vs David Telesco)
All time great odd-ball venue was a cow pasture in Carson Valley, NV on ESPN! It was so obscure I don’t remember who fought.
RFK Stadium in 1993 (Riddick Bowe vs. Jesse Ferguson, Roy Jones Jr vs. Bernard Hopkins on the undercard)
World Series, NBA Playoffs, NFL games, and my voice is contracted to use in 10 stadiums around the country.
Mexico, Japan, Spain, France, England, Germany, Netherlands, Scotland, Canada, Austria, Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Trinidad, Puerto Rico…
HISTORY OF Let’s Get Ready To RUMBLE…
I came up with the idea of having a “hook” to bring the fans back to attention after putting them to sleep with the introductions of 15-18 officials (that nobody cares about)…something like, ”Gentleman, start your engines!” does at the Indy 500. I tried ”Man your battle stations!” and ”Fasten your seat belts!”. I settled on the “RUMBLE” line and it appears to have been a good choice! I still get a charge out of the fan reaction and I still sometimes find myself surprised that I’m actually in the middle of (and part of) a super, sports event.
For the past dozen-plus years I’ve done almost all of Roy Jones Jr’s fights. The same is true of Oscar de la Hoya. I almost feel like a relative at this point. I am never surprised by anything spectacular in the ring by Roy as that’s what one can and should expect from a talent like RJ.
As for Calzaghe, I think U.S. fans are still unaware of his brilliant skills. One only has to look at his number of fights and unmarked face to realize he is a hell of a defensive fighter. Add the undefeated, perfect record while competing at the world championship level for a decade and the computer spits out the word “SUPERSTAR.”
I really butchered Manny Pacquiao’s (#1 fighter in the world today) name the first time I introduced him…Thailand loves to torture me with their fighters names and there are a few times when my brain and tongue didn’t work together.
PERSONAL MOMENTS IN THE RING
When Foreman, at age 43, knocked out Michael Moorer to win the WBA HW title, I was so choked up with emotion I couldn’t speak. Thank god the KO was so spectacular that HBO had to replay it from every angle possible (2-3 times each) giving me time to compose myself.
Duran vs. Barkley (’89) went to a split decision win for Duran…the arena PA system went dead and I was cursing out the (house) audio tech at ringside with some brutal language–all picked up on the broadcast feed. Some brilliant work in the truck, hitting the ”kill” switch prevented this verbal assault from going out over the air, but lip readers were in for a treat. I ended up shouting the scores to a hushed audience.
There are many moments with fighters…Hagler and Tyson’s intimidating intensity, Oscar’s focus, Nazim’s showmanship coming to the ring, but Larry Holmes’ was relaxed and playful before his fight with Holyfield and while I was announcing, he danced by, chuckled a ”Hey Mike” and gave me a playful ”tap” in the shoulder. A tap from a heavyweight pro fighter is pretty good SHOT to me and I was spun around but managed to hang on to the microphone, never missing a beat.
The infamous ”Fan Man” incident (during Holyfield v Bowe) was unreal! The possibility of a riot was very real, though. I went in the ring and told the crowd that everything was under control, remain calm, stay in your seats and the fight will resume shortly. I went to each corner and got Holyfield and Bowe’s people to wrap their guys in blankets (it was a cold night) as this may take a while.
We all remember the REAL riot that ensued after the disqualification of Andrew Golota against Riddick Bowe at Madison Square Garden. I couldn’t get in the ring as it was filled with rioters but I did have the microphone and tried to calm the crowd but at the same time ask for any and all off duty police in the house to come to ringside and help us out. I stayed on the PA for about a half hour. The NYPD showed up in force eventually and order was restored. As an ”official witness” at a crime scene, I was asked to stay for a statement. When I was finally taken to a room for an interview (an hour later) it was with then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his Police Chief. I soon discover I was kept around because they were fans and wanted to meet me!
ENTRY INTO BOXING
I loved boxing but couldn’t afford a ticket, so I figured I could get in if I was a ring announcer. I was modeling at the time and doing some commercials, so my looks really got me the job because I had no experience or vocal training.
Muhammad Ali, kissing me on each cheek and playfully whispering in my ear, ”You a ‘pretty boy’ but you still not as pretty as me!”
The late Ted Williams greeting me with a “Hi, Mike!”…OMG, Ted Williams knows my name? Same thing happened with Kirk Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, Jack Nicholas, Usher, Jay-Z and George Clooney (this list is pretty long but we can’t go on and on) through the years. I am still amazed–and flattered–that I get recognized as I am still a fan having fun at the fights!
Finding out I had cancer was, of course, a shock. But to have THROAT AND NECK cancer was unbelievable because of what I do for a living. I knew of a problem but received confirmation three days before the Klitschko-Ibragimov fight at MSG last February and I thought that was my last show as I was to undergo surgery and prepared for chemo and radiation treatments. I held off on the surgery and managed to squeeze in another payday with Marquez vs. Pacquiao. On March 20th, I went for the surgery at USC in LA and Dr. Dale Rice, one of the very best in this field, removed all the lymph nodes on my left side (neck), my tonsils and (a very small) part of the throat. When I woke up in recovery the first thing I did was speak out loud and when I heard my voice I knew I still had my larynx. Now I had to sweat out the results and, a week later, the pathology came back negative–meaning, for now, it seems they got it all, putting off radiation and other treatment. My healing process was amazing and 30 days later, I was able to get in the ring again for Calzaghe-Hopkins in Las Vegas. I am now in that five year period of check-ups before I can, hopefully, get an official ”all clear” and, with my fingers crossed, I go day-to-day, enjoying my life and my work knowing every moment is a blessing.
Calzaghe vs. Jones “Battle of the Superpowers” is a 12-round championship for Calzaghe’s Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship belt. Promoted by Square Ring, Inc. and Calzaghe Promotions in association with Madison Square Garden, Calzaghe vs. Jones will take place November 8, and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
Tickets priced at $1500, $1000, $750, $500, $250 and $150, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets or online at ticketmaster.com.
The final episode of HBO’s all-access reality series Calzaghe/Jones 24/7 debuts tonight, Thursday, Nov. 6 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.
All three half-hour episodes of CALZAGHE/JONES 24/7 will be presented back-to-back-to-back Friday, Nov. 7 (8:30-10:00 p.m.), and Saturday, Nov. 8 (8:30-10:00 a.m.), on HBO. All times are ET/PT.
Cerveza Tecate invites consumers to meet Mosley and Mora
As a sponsor of the Dec. 6 De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao bout, Cerveza Tecate invites adult consumers in Los Angeles to be a part of the excitement of this match during a meet-and-greet session with Golden Boy Promotions champions, “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora, at Tecate’s first-ever Mobile Boxing Ring tour.
The mobile boxing ring will create excitement among Los Angeles boxing fans, bringing them the opportunity to participate in autograph and photo sessions with two of the most talented fighters. Making stops in key locations around the city, the mobile ring tour will also feature radio personality Piolin, entertainer Don Cheto, and the popular Chicas Tecate to enhance the consumer experience
WHEN AND Friday, November 21
WHERE: 5 - 8 p.m.
1820 W. Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA
**Appearance by “Sugar” Shane Mosely and Piolin
Friday, November 28
6 - 8 p.m.
1201 W Whittier Blvd
**Appearance by Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora and Don Cheto
Braveheart Kevin McIntyre has called for the Tartan Army to back him in his bid to reclaim the British welterweight title
Braveheart Kevin McIntyre has called for the Tartan Army to back him in his bid to reclaim the British welterweight title from Sheffield’s Kell Brook on November 14. McIntyre believes his patriotic compatriots can spur him on to victory and create an intimidating atmosphere for Brook at the Scotland versus England clash at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall.
McIntyre said: “It is quite rare for Scotland and England’s football teams to play each other nowadays but next week a Scottish and English boxer will face each other in a title fight, and this is an opportunity for the Tartan Army to back one of their own in a big sporting event.”
Paisley’s McIntyre believes that he has won even more supporters as a result of him being stripped of the British title.
McIntyre was relieved of his championship under controversial circumstances back in June after the Stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control ruled that the title should be declared vacant owing to his continuing inability to make a championship defence as a result of injury.
Sheffield’s Kell Brook won the vacant belt by stopping Barrie Jones at the York Hall in London on June 14.
McIntyre added: “Every cloud has a silver lining and the only good thing to come out of me being stripped of my title was the way in which my fans and the media got behind me in my bid to get a crack at Brook.
“I have a good following in Paisley and the surrounding area, but I have been getting messages through my website from people all over the UK telling me how much of an injustice they thought it was when I had my title taken from me.
“Since the Stewards of the Board of Control installed me as Brook’s mandatory challenger in July, I have been determined to prove that I am the real British welterweight champion and that is exactly what I will do on November 14.”
Kevin McIntyre would also like to thank the Communication Workers Union for their continued sponsorship and Henderson’s Kilt Hire in Bridge of Weir for supplying him with a tailored McIntyre Tartan kilt.
Tickets for Kevin McIntyre’s British title challenge priced at £30, £50 and £100 are available from Colin Bellshaw on 07731 808 381.
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