Anthony Joshua’s title defense against Oleksandr Usyk will be one of the biggest fights of 2021 – and then means Michael Buffer will warm up his vocal cords.
The legendary announcer, 76, has been the voice of boxing for almost 40 years and will be in the ring again on Saturday night.
AJ and Usyk have been in training camps for months before their heavyweight collision and finally took the scales on Friday.
Still, for many fans, the fight between them won’t be real until Buffer gets the microphone and shouts “Let’s get ready to rumble.”
But what are the origins of its iconic slogan and how much is the American paid for his appearance? talkSPORT.com takes a look …
Who is Michael Buffer?
Buffer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1944.
His parents divorced when he was only 11 months old and he was brought up by adoptive parents under the name Huber.
Buffer became a ring announcer in 1982 at age 38, gaining national exposure a year later as the sole announcer for Bob Arum’s Top Rank-promoted fights on ESPN.
He’s the half-brother of iconic UFC announcer Bruce Buffer, 64, though the couple didn’t show up until 1989.
While boxing remains Michael’s strong suit, his booming voice has led to stints in the MLB World Series, NBA Finals, WWE and the now defunct WCW.
Why does he say “let’s get ready to scold”?
Buffer began uttering his timeless slogan in 1984 – two years after starting as an advertiser – after taking inspiration from Muhammad Ali.
He told Yahoo in 2018, “I wanted a hook so fans know who the main event fighters are. The stars of the show.
“The Great Mohammed Ali said: ‘I am so beautiful! I am ready to scold! Scold, young man, scold! And I kind of refined that into “Let’s get ready to rumble.”
“… Over the years, it has become a call to arms. … It was a great way to let people know… that you are going to see the main event.
Michael’s half-brother Bruce is himself famous for his “THIS IS THE TIME!” Slogan in the UFC.
But the youngest Buffer was actually the one who filed for Michael’s signature in 1992, shortly after becoming his manager.
The Voice of the Octagon told BT Sport: “I realized that (Michael) had not registered a trademark [Let’s get ready to rumble’] and had no t-shirts or hats.
“So I started to get passionate about it and I had the ambition to become an announcer because I have always enjoyed being on stage and speaking in front of people. “
Bulb moment came when he attended Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe in 1992.
Bruce Buffer revealed that after watching his brother’s reaction from Jack Nicholson, Hulk Hogan and other celebrities in attendance, he realized the potential of “Let’s Get Ready to Scold.”
How much is he paid?
According to reports, Buffer earns between $ 25,000 and $ 100,000 each time he uses his tagline depending on the fight.
The veteran has reportedly even made $ 1 million on some occasions, but his salary has yet to be revealed for Joshua’s clash with Usyk.
Buffer was asked about reports that his slogan grossed him $ 400 million during his career in 2018, but he said it was actually more.
He told USA Today, “This is from a few years ago and reflects the sales of many products associated with ‘let’s get ready to rumble’, including advertisements.
“It has been very, very rewarding.