The incredible story of how Bruce and Michael Buffer met and made millions

“I think it’s your brother.”

And that’s how a 29-year-old Bruce Buffer discovered he was related to Michael ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ Buffer – aka the voice of boxing.

The incredible story of how Bruce and Michael Buffer met and made millions

Michael and Bruce Buffer did not meet until well into their adult lives, but have remained close ever since

Bruce had been watching Michael from the beginning when he first used the phrase in 1984 shortly before Mike Tyson injected new life into the heavyweight division in the late 1980s.

“I saw this man come out,” he told BT Sport. “This very handsome, debonair James Bond style man with an incredible voice.

“All of a sudden I’m becoming a fan and then he started putting his name on the TV screen and it said Michael Buffer and I thought ‘are you kidding me?’”

With his job in telemarketing giving him access to every phone book in the country, he scanned the pages to see who else shared his surname. Buffer didn’t appear anywhere, except for his relatives in Philadelphia.

“Who is this guy? I started getting curious,” he continued. “I called [promoter] Don King’s office and Bob Arum’s and found out [Michael] grew up about 20 miles away from where I grew up in Philadelphia.

“Long story short, my father and I are on a road trip to San Francisco and by this time Michael is as famous as the boxers. People are asking me if he’s my brother and I tell them ‘no, my brother is Brian.’”

Explaining the situation to his dad, he asked if he had any idea who the man behind the catchphrase was and that’s when he got the very blasé response.

“My dad never told me that when he was serving in World War II he had gotten married at a young age, a son was born [on 2 November 1944] and nine months later when he came back they divorced.

“The last time he saw the child was when he was two-and-a-half.

“Michael was raised by foster parents under the name of Huber but when he went into the army during the Vietnam war [recruiters] saw his birth certificate said his name was Buffer as he was never formally adopted as Huber.”

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🙏 “Big Cheers & Love” being sent to my big brother’s @BrianBufferSwat & @RealMichaelBuffer as today is “National Siblings Day”🎙 Thank you both for all your love & support 🙏 We are always in each other’s corner for life 👊 #ITSFAMILYTIME ❤️ #BUFFLIFE 😎

A post shared by Bruce Buffer (@brucebufferufc) on Apr 10, 2020 at 4:21pm PDT

 

So Michael Buffer enlisted and his surname remained with him ever since. And as his brother explained, this was lucky because they may never have met had he stuck with Huber.

They were finally introduced in 1989 and within a few years Bruce was managing his half brother’s career.

“I realised he hadn’t trademarked [Let’s get ready to rumble’] and had no t-shirts or hats, so I started getting passionate about this and had aspirations of becoming an announcer because I always enjoyed being on stage and talking in front of people,” he said.

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IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT's TIME!!!!! For #NationalSiblingsDay ! I Love my Li'l Brother @brucebufferufc , THE VETERAN VOICE OF THE UFC OCTAGON!!! 🎙‪#LetsGetReadyToRumble ® #ITSTIME ‬ ® #ufc #brucebuffer #BUFFLIFE 😎 #LoveMyBabyBro

A post shared by Michael Buffer (@realmichaelbuffer) on Apr 10, 2019 at 4:29pm PDT

The lightbulb moment came when he attended Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe in 1992 and having watched the reaction his brother got from Jack Nicholson, Hulk Hogan and other celebrities in attendance he realised the potential of ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’.

He explained that instead of partying in Las Vegas after the fight, he went back to his hotel room and incessantly made three pages of notes thinking about the opportunities to cross over into other sports and guest speaking at corporate events.

“I told Michael ‘I want to make you richer than you ever dreamed and hopefully myself in the process but I want to become your manager and partner.’

“And we agreed, but I told him I’m going to have to give up everything I have and quit with the money I have in the bank and I’m going to go for it.

“That was then and we’re here today and I’m still his manager and partner. We have a fantastic relationship and I love my brother very much.”

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I forgot, I was also the ring announcer in ‘THE HOMER THEY FALL’ episode of SIMPSONS-20+ yrs ago! 😂 Tatum vs. Homer “Brick Hithouse” also known as the “Southern Dandy” ‪#LetsGetReadyToRumble‬ ® 👊🏻👊🏼👊🏽👊🏾👊🏿🥊 #thesimpsons #homersimpson #WhyCantWeBeFriends

A post shared by Michael Buffer (@realmichaelbuffer) on Feb 26, 2019 at 11:55am PST

 

The duo certainly made good on their promise and have built an empire with reports claiming they have banked hundreds of millions of dollars.

Bruce, for the last 24 years, has also been known as the ‘voice of the octagon’ and his own catchphrase where he excitedly screams ‘IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S…TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME’ is the cue for UFC fans to go mental for the main event of the evening.

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🗣I’m very proud to say that February 16th marked my 24th year of being the “Voice Of The Octagon” & announcer for the @UFC🎙 I sincerely wish to thank all the amazing fans around the world for all your support plus everyone I’ve met, become friends with & worked with along with all the awesome fighters I’ve announced over the last two plus decades since the first time I stepped into the Octagon in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on Feb. 6, 1996 to announce the preliminary bouts at @UFC 8, then on to my first full event at UFC 10 & to announcing UFC 13 after which I announced every UFC event till recent years with so many shows around the world making it impossible for me to be at every UFC event as much as I want to be🎙 It has been an amazing experience being part of of the UFC during its evolutionary process & our amazing sport of MMA to where it is now as a mainstream sport 🙏 I look forward to announcing from the UFC Octagon for many years to come as my whirlwind international adventures continue into the future 🗣🎙👊 #ITSTIME 👊 #BUFFLIFE 😎

A post shared by Bruce Buffer (@brucebufferufc) on Feb 17, 2020 at 3:48pm PST

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