Is Michael Buffer Calling It Quits?
By: Sean Crose
After spending decades telling fans to get ready to rumble, famed ring announcer Michael Buffer may actually be getting ready to retire. “If I don’t sell it, maybe I might pass it down,” the dapper 71-year-old told TMZ, referring to his famous tagline “Let’s get ready to rumble,” (which is generally followed by about eight exclamation points).
“Sure,” Buffer added when asked outright if he might sell the world renowned declaration, “I’ve got to retire soon.” Clearly, such words are not music to the ears of fight fans. Boxing fandom may consist of divided camps, but Buffer is universally beloved, even outside of the boxing world. Still, the man made it a point to let reporters know he wasn’t entirely sure what his future plans truly were. “That’s only a maybe,” he added.
Longtime fans may remember Buffer from his early days as a staple on the then (believe it or not) quaint network ESPN, where Buffer introduced fight card after fight card. By around the mid-eighties, Buffer developed his now famous catchphrase, which the guy actually trademarked in the early 90s. Needless to say that phrase is undoubtedly worth a whole lot of money.
So popular is Buffer as a ring announcer that one is as apt to see him covering fights in Europe as one is in North America. It could even be argued that the mere presence of Buffer in the ring adds legitimacy to a boxing event. Although there are other top notch ring announcers like Jimmy Lennon Junior, and even Buffer’s half-brother, UFC announcer Bruce, Buffer himself has been viewed as the gold standard for years now.
Throughout his brief chat with reporters, Buffer seemed himself, relaxed and easy going. It’s not hard watching the footage to come to the conclusion that he may not be in much of a hurry to leave his career, but that the thought has clearly crossed his mind. As to who might want to purchase the catchphrase, who knows? It’s hard to imagine anyone doing uttering those words as well as Buffer himself does.
As for post-retirement plans, Buffer, a father of two, appeared uncertain – but only in a glib, Bufferesque kind of way. When asked what he intended to do after stepping away from the microphone, he responded with a notable quip.
“Travel the world,” he said, before adding “wait a minute, I already do that now.”
One assumes it’s good to be Michael Buffer.
Update: Boxing Insider reached out to UFC announcer Bruce Buffer to get his take on his brother’s comments. He responded that “Michael was having fun… He Is not retiring anytime soon.”