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'Let's get ready to rumble!': Legendary ring announcer explains the origin of his famous catchphrase

Reggie Wade
Associate Producer/Video Editor

The most memorable moment of a boxing match seldom happens before the bell rings — but when Michael Buffer is involved, it’s a different story.

Ring announcers are usually heard but not remembered. However, Buffer reached legendary status with his signature catchphrase: “Let’s get ready to rumble.”

‘I'm so pretty I'm ready to rumble!‘

Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble” is sometimes the most exciting part of the event. The phrase is so iconic that many boxing fans don’t feel like it’s a big fight unless Buffer has christened it. Buffer joined Yahoo Finance’s ‘Morning Meeting’ and explained how he coined the now- trademarked phrase.

"I wanted a hook to get the fans into knowing who the main event fighters are. The stars of the show,” Buffer explained (at about 3:40 in the video above). “The Great Muhammad Ali used to say: 'I'm so pretty! I'm ready to rumble! Rumble, young man, rumble!' And I kind of refined that to 'Let's get ready to rumble.' ... Through the years, it became the call to arms. ... It’s been a great way to let people know ... that you’re going to see the main event.”

Michael Buffer is seen announcing at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, December 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

‘Real fight fans love this’

From ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘Creed II,’ Buffer has appeared in over 60 movies and TV shows. The famed announcer is now getting into the video streaming business. DAZN is a subscription video sports streaming service that launched in the summer of 2016. In May 2018, DAZN announced that it hired former ESPN president John Skipper as Chairman .

The service also made a big move in the world of Boxing. In October, DAZN announced that it signed the unified middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez. The five-year, 11-fight deal is the richest in sports history: Alvarez is owed a minimum of $365 million. And Buffer signed an exclusive deal to be the ring announcer for Alvarez’s fights on DAZN.

Canelo Alvarez lands a punch against Gennady Golovkin in the 12th round during a middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Alvarez won by majority decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

The deal with Alvarez could be seen as a coup of sorts: The reigning middleweight champion was previously signed to fight on HBO. Buffer who has become synonymous with HBO boxing noted on Yahoo Finance’s ‘Morning Meeting’ that he never actually worked for HBO, he worked with individual boxing promoters who fighters just happened to fight on HBO.

The move is part of service's extended push into the combat sports market: DAZN has also signed a multi-year deal with Viacom ( VIA ) to air seven of its Bellator MMA fight cards exclusively on the platform.

Many combat sports fans have felt like the current pay-per-view structure offered by networks such as HBO and Showtime are a relic of the past. Alvarez’s last fight against Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin was priced at a staggering $84.95 on HBO. DAZN promises subscribers over 100 fight cards a year for $9.99 a month. The bet is that disillusioned boxing and MMA fans find themselves flocking to DAZN.

“With the big fights you only see two or three fights and the stars,” Buffer said. “Now with DAZN you can see the entire card, from beginning to end. Real fight fans love this.”

Read more: DAZN makes its marketing push to American sports fans