Boxing: Buffer brings the voice of Vegas to the East End

From Vietnam and Hollywood to Upton Park, MC gets ready to rumble

West Ham's Upton Park, scene of the Chisora-Haye fight, will become boxing's buffer zone on Saturday night. A 16-man security team will be placed across the ring diagonally to keep the fighters apart before the first bell. The warring heavyweights will also weigh in on Thursday on separate scales, divided by a steel barrier.

These measures are to prevent any repetition of the incidents in Munich five months ago when Chisora slapped the face of his opponent, Vitali Klitschko, at the weigh-in and then spat water in the face of his brother Wladimir during the ring preliminaries.

The human security barrier will echo that in New Orleans nine years ago, when a string of burly cops split the ring before Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson fought each other.

The unseemly build-up to that world heavyweight championship bout had similarities to the Chisora-Haye post-fight brawl, Tyson having bitten Lewis's thigh as they rolled on the floor and threatened to "eat" his babies.

It will also be a buffer zone in another respect, with the legendary MC Michael Buffer being imported from the United States to make the ring announcements. Former Hollywood actor Buffer, 67, will bellow his famous trademark catchphrase – "Let's get ready to r...um...ble!" – after introducing boxing's bad boys.

These five words have been patented – no other MC may use them – and have earned him a £300 million fortune. His fee for doing the honours next week is believed to be around £100,000, plus first-class travel. Buffer says he had no qualms about accepting the offer "as this is legitimately the biggest heavyweight fight of the year".

During his 30-year career, the thrice-married, immaculately coiffured Buffer, a Vietnam war veteran, has announced baseball's World Series, ice hockey's Stanley Cup finals, NBA Championships and NFL play-off games, as well as scores of fights around the globe. He has also appeared in a number of fight movies as himself, including Rocky. Four years ago he overcame the throat cancer which had threatened his career, and last month he was inducted into boxing's International Hall of Fame.

However, one name that Buffer may not be announcing from the ring is that of fellow 67-year-old Mickey Vann, the appointed referee, to whom Haye has objected, despite Vann having refereed more world title fights than any other British official.

Vann is no longer licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control because he is over their age limit of 65. But he is still able to officiate for other boxing bodies internationally and has been named by the Luxembourg Commission, who have stepped in to sanction a bout that was officially outlawed by the British Board.

Haye doesn't want him, saying he is too old and too small to control a potentially explosive grudge match between two big heavyweights. Yet Vann, once a circus gymnast and former pro featherweight, had no trouble when he took charge of the similarly tension-charged scrap between Lewis and Frank Bruno, famously warning the feuding antagonists: "I won't take any shit from either of you."

Haye also cites another reason for objecting to Vann, claiming he has been "too close" to Chisora's manager, Frank Warren, having handled a string of Warren-promoted fights, especially those involving Ricky Hatton. Warren responds that this is an unwarranted slur upon Vann's integrity.

The picky Haye wants Luis Pabon, who refereed his fight with Audley Harrison. The Puerto Rican is noted for discouraging boxers from working inside, which Chisora likes to do.

The situation will be resolved later this week, with the experienced South African Stan Christodoulou, also 67, and another "retired" British ref, Paul Thomas, on standby. Doubtless Haye will consider them old buffers too.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Assessor

£26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Jobs Available Devon

Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

Software Solution Technician - Peterborough - up to £21,000

£20000 - £21000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Software Solutio...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering