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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas