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Bob Arum: Buffer Was 'Next To Awful' In The Beginning

By Keith Idec

The “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” segment on the Buffer brothers, which debuted Tuesday night, is hardly just about Michael Buffer bellowing out a catch phrase.

The piece, reported by correspondent Soledad O’Brien, explores how Michael Buffer grew up in foster care outside Philadelphia and finally met his biological father, Joe, and younger brother, Bruce, after Bruce noticed him announcing boxing on television in the 1980s. It also addresses the throat tumor that threatened Buffer’s career six years ago before it was surgically removed and how Bruce Buffer, UFC’s ring announcer, and his older brother have transformed five simple words, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble,” into a trademarked empire.

Among those interviewed in the piece, which was screened by BoxingScene.com, is promoter Bob Arum, who laughed hard while recalling Buffer before he worked out the kinks and became famous.

“I was doing the ESPN weekly boxing show back in the 80s,” Arum recalled. “We tried Buffer and he was next to awful. His hand was shaking, he mixed up all the names. He was so bad.”

O’Brien then asked Arum if he felt even then that there was something special about the former fashion model, the International Boxing Hall of Fame promoter said, “Yeah, the women liked him. He’s a really handsome guy.”

The episode will debut Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will air again numerous times over the course of the next few weeks. Check hbo.com for playdates.

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

Tags: Bob Arum image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PunchyPotorff on 05-23-2014

The one I remember from the 80s was Ed Derian. Used to crack me up whenever he did the ring announcements. "And your referee for this evening's bout... Frank Cap-oooh-CHEEEEEE-noe" or "This young man... is a native of north Philadelphia...".…

Comment by PunchyPotorff on 05-23-2014

[QUOTE=Snake4380;14579105]Bob, what's not next to awful but actually awful are your undercards. Why don't you worry about protecting your fighters with blood-testing and making better undercards. We don't need to hear your comments on trivial areas of boxing...[/QUOTE] Agreed on…

Comment by PunchyPotorff on 05-23-2014

[QUOTE=anonymous2.0;14578782]What's more bizarre is that he's copyrighted that catchphrase of his.[/QUOTE] It is kinda strange, but smart in a big money sense. Gene Simmons owns the copyright on the term 'orange juice' I've been told. Some of these guys are…

Comment by chargerhemi06 on 05-22-2014

[QUOTE=Kuyukut;14578781]better than paul mcCartney?[/QUOTE] lol...I was just being stupid. I wanted to see if any one noticed I got the first name wrong.

Comment by turnedup on 05-22-2014

[QUOTE=radioraheem;14578868]It's not bizarre, companies do that all the time for slogans.[/QUOTE] He calls that outrageous lol..he must've forgotten Paris Hilton trying to trademark "that's hot" lol

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