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
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
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

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam