Many people would wonder how easy it is to repeat a simple five-word sentence probably once a month and smile to the couch every time. Such is the curious case of Michael Buffer, who is arguably the most recognizable voice in the world of boxing and sports as a whole. The legendary ringside announcer has his “Let’s get ready to mess around” synonymous with the start of really great sports moments and is the go-to guy to bring the excitement to any sports era.
That’s not the fun. The most amazing thing about this is that he has built an astonishing fortune of $400 million just saying those 5 words. It is estimated that he earns an average of $25,000-$100,000 per ring intro, and is said to have earned $1,000,000 at times.
“Let’s get ready to mess around” for 40 years.
But who is the man, Michael Buffer? This article attempts to answer that question.
Buffer of Huber, the beginning, the man, the myth
Most people know him as Michael Buffer, but that was not his birth name. His name was Michael Huber throughout his childhood and teenage years until an army officer noticed that his birth certificate read “Buffer”.
Buffer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his parents divorced when he was just a child. This meant that he was raised by a foster family. He enlisted in the military in 1965, because of the Vietnam War. He left the military in 1967, after his service, and the next 15 years of his life were not something Hollywood would make a movie about: it just was.
The moment that changed his life
Buffer once said in an interview that: “I found out that was pretty standard.” This was his eureka moment while watching a boxing match in the early 1980s that put things in perspective for him. He noted that the ring announcer continued to kill the crowd’s excitement by fiddling with his words and making mistakes. He felt he could do better and soon saw an opportunity.
He sent printed headshots to local casinos that were scheduled to host boxing matches, throwing his unique skills at them, but most ignored him. The Playboy Hotel & Casino, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was the only one to answer him, and the rest is history.
He began to gain a reputation as an energetic, exciting and entertaining presence in the world, and soon gained worldwide fame and acclaim by traveling the world to utter these famous five words.
He didn’t make $400 million just saying those 5 words
In 1989, Buffer met his half-brother, Bruce Buffer, and the pair became one of the most iconic star/manager combos in history. Bruce helped Michael Buffer mark his famous quote, shortly after they started working together in the mid-1990s.
Halfway through, the playmaker also paid Buffer $100 million to use the legendary phrase forever, and it’s now used in songs, video games, movies, and more. The biggest part of the deal is that he can still use the phrase for other customers and get paid without jeopardizing his agreement with Midway.
Bruce has also become a famous ring announcer, headlining over 200 UFC events and using his own words, “It’s Time!”, but Michael Buffer is still the more recognizable Buffer.
Still physically fit, sinewy and tall at 77, he still has a lot of fights inside him, and his story reminds everyone that it’s never too late to take that step and change careers. He also got a lot of rejections, but that didn’t stop him. He was nearly 40 before starting his career, and he’s still going strong at nearly 80.