Michael Buffer is best known for his trademarked catchphrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” But how did the long-time ring announcer make his fortune?
Michael Buffer made the majority of his money by trademarking his iconic catchphrase: “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Selling the rights to this catchphrase for use in music, television, video games and merchandise has amassed Buffer a fortune.
Read on to learn more about Michael Buffer’s fortune.
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble
For any boxing fan, these words are iconic. If you don’t follow the sport, you’re almost certainly still aware of the phrase. These five words have been utilized by Michael Buffer since 1982, making him a fortune in the process.
After dabbling in a few different ventures, Michael Buffer turned to ring announcing as a career. He would set the stage for some of the biggest bouts in the world, announcing in each fighter. He’s been the opening star of the show for almost forty years, and has both an iconic voice, and image.
In 2009, an article explored the foundation and life of Michael Buffer. By that year, Buffer had appeared in more than twenty movies and television shows, all playing the role of himself. He trademarked his catchphrase, enabling royalties every time the phrase was used.
Over time, the phrase would be used in video games, music, and merchandise – this is where the majority of Buffer’s income comes from. It seems insane that a man could make a fortune on just five words, but it’s true. By 2020, Michael Buffer would be worth over $400 million.
Reportedly, Buffer made anywhere between $25,000 and $100,000 every time he appeared in sports, making his iconic announcements. In some areas, this fee would more than double. As an example, when announcing for the WWE on special occasions, Buffer reportedly earned $250,000 per appearance.
Further, there have been reports suggesting Buffer has earned upwards of $1 million for announcing the biggest fights on record in recent years. You can see a video on YouTube of Michael Buffer making one of his most impressive announcements.
The Iconic Voice
Michael Buffer’s world famous catchphrase has earned him international recognition. Aside from the near half-billion dollars in wealth, he’s also earned the respect of sports fans all over the planet. As decades have gone by, Buffer has appeared, with great reception, on countless talk and news shows.
In 2008, Buffer was diagnosed with – and treated for – throat cancer. In almost tragic irony, the cancer deeply threatened the one thing Buffer had used to gain fame: his voice. Thankfully, a revolutionary surgery averted any damage to his voice, and Buffer continued announcing just a month later.
Strangely, Michael isn’t the only Buffer to use his voice to make a living. His half-brother, Bruce Buffer, is also a ring announcer, this time for the UFC. Bruce found his (relatively smaller) fortune in the same role, but for a different sport.
Bruce and his father saw Michael on television, announcing a fight, and at first didn’t realize their connection. He took inspiration from Michael in his own work. Ultimately, the two would meet after almost thirty years of separation.
Bruce Buffer explained this story at length in an interview on BT in the UK, which is viewable on a Twitter post from 2020.
Reportedly, Michael found his way into the profession after a chance statement from his son. The pair were watching a ring announcer on television, and his performance was sub-par. In response, Michael’s son (of the same name) declared that his father should do the job.
At that point, history was made, and Michael Buffer entered his career as a ring announcer.