Michael Buffer Interview: In-depth on Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito, Super Six, Klitschko brothers and More! By David Tyler, DoghouseBoxing (Nov 12, 2010) - Tweet
Michael Buffer is best known as the "voice of boxing". Please welcome into the doghouse the most popular person in boxing today.
David Tyler - How are you?
Michael Buffer - I am a little tired, probably jet lag. I just flew into Washington DC for a charity event from Cologne, Germany. Then it's off to Dallas Friday to prepare for the Pacquiao/ Margarito fight Saturday on HBO. After that, it's back to Germany for a commercial shoot next week then back to Atlantic City for another big fight on HBO, the rematch between Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams.
DT - Sir, you are a very busy man!
MB - Hey, it's all part of the job.
DT - The last time we spoke you mentioned that you do a lot of boxing work in Germany. Just how popular is the sport in Germany?
MB - A good example would be the Vitali Klitschko / Shannon Briggs fight last month in Germany. The ratings showed that over 60% of every television in Germany was tuned into that fight. Those are outstanding numbers.
DT - I know that the Klitschkos are very popular in Germany, any others?
MB - The Klitschko brothers have a great following and so does Arthur Abraham and Marco Huck just to name a few. There are also many European fighters who come to Germany for training and end up making it their home. The last two Klitschko fights had over 55,000 fans in attendance....the fights were held in a soccer stadium. So I would say that boxing is more than alive and well in Germany. It's not the Klitschkos fault that there is just not enough quality opponents.
DT - I agree, but Arthur Abraham is in a different situation.....plenty of opponents. Since you will not be the fourth man in the ring for Abraham's fight against Carl Froch on November 27th.... who do you see winning the event?
MB - I do a lot of work for Sauerland Promotions in Germany. They have the rights for the ring announcer and ask me to work this fight but I had already committed to HBO for the Juan Manuel Marquez/ Michael Katsidis fight on November 27th. To answer your question, I think that Arthur Abraham will win the fight. Good fighters....and Abraham is a good fighter....when they suffer that first defeat will learn from the loss.....an average fighter will go downhill after the first defeat. I believe that Abraham has too much power for Carl Froch.
DT - The Supper Six tournament in the upper Middleweight Division has suffered some setbacks in the last year. What have we learned from this tournament?
MB - The round robin format may not be the best way to handle such an event. If you take the eight best fighters in one division and start with four fights and you are out by elimination. I understand the round robin concept.....maybe the referee stopped the fight too soon.....a bad decision by the judges....but I still believe that the elimination process would work best for the boxing fans.
DT - Good point. HBO is not calling it a tournament but I very much like what the network has in store for the light welterweight division. Amir Khan will be fighting Marcos Maidana in December and January of next year finds Devon Alexander against Tim Bradley. Your thought about these fights?
MB - David, I will not be the ring announcer for the Maidana/ Khan bout as I have a prior commitment in Germany. However, I do think this will be a great match and I think that Amir Khan's boxing skills will be the definitive factor in that fight. Amir Khan is trained by Freddie Roach who has done a great job with this young fighter. Freddie expects all of his fighters to "bring it to the ring". Amir has a good following in the United Kingdom and if he keeps winning at 140 or 147 then he will develop a strong following in this country too.
DT - Let's discuss the January bout between Devon Alexander and Tim Bradley.
MB - I will probably work that fight. It has all the earmarks of a great fight....what they would call a donnybrook in the old days.
DT - Let's move on to the main event.....this Saturday's clash between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito in Dallas, Texas. How do you see this fight unfolding? Does Margarito have any chance in this fight?
MB - I think he has a great chance. He seems to be getting himself together both physically and mentally. He is a fighter who has lost before and came back. He has had his problems by having his license revoked in California. He is looking to prove himself......prove that he is still a great fighter. He was THE welterweight for quite a few years. This fight could be called a catch weight fight since it is being fought at 151 pounds. Margarito is the bigger fighter but I remember a great fighter from years ago named Henry Armstrong......size didn't matter in his case.....he was the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight champ all at the same time. He also came close to capturing the middleweight title.
DT - I have watched a ton of Henry Armstrong fights and this guy was constant perpetual motion from the second the opening bell sounded.
MB - That's what we have to compare Pacquiao to.....Henry Armstrong. I think maybe down the line he will be compared in stature to Henry Armstrong. Right now it's that perpetual motion, the will to win, power in both hands.....probably more power than Armstrong. Size does not matter to Pacquiao. When it comes to the weigh-in for the bout, he is one of the few fighters in the world today that can have breakfast and lunch and go to the weigh-in and make weight.
DT - Is that a good thing.....being below the weight limit?
MB - Pacquiao feels that he doesn't have to be at a certain weight, just his best fighting weight and that is the best approach. When Ray Robinson fought Joey Maxim for the light heavyweight championship, he weighed 157 pounds. The temperature at fight time was 104 degrees and by the 10th round the referee had to be replaced because he collapsed from the heat. Robinson was ahead on all three scorecards when he just couldn't continue after the 13th round. If it wasn't for the heat and the fact that in those days you were not allowed a drink of water between rounds, he would have been the light heavyweight champion too. Size didn't matter to Ray Robinson.
DT - Do you think that Pacquiao will have to make any adjustments for the size difference between him and Margarito?
MB - I don't think he will change anything with his style, pace, or the way he views the fight. He is training with tall rangy welterweights and junior middleweights. There are stories going around that he is not having a great training camp. What somebody may say he is not having a great training camp you and I may think "my god how much more can he torture his body?" I am sure that he is going to be in top physical condition.
DT - Michael, I am not sure if Margarito has enough defense to hold off Pacquiao and I base my opinion on the Mosley fight.
MB - It's easy to try and analyze things after a fight but sitting at ringside for the Mosley/ Margarito bout, I thought Margarito got stunned in the second round and never really recovered......he got hit with a body shot and a good punch to the head....from that point on it was all Mosley. I can't imagine anybody beating Mosley that night....he was in great shape.
DT - Do you think this fight has a chance to go the distance.
MB - Every fight has the chance to go the distance. These guys will be wearing 10 ounce gloves and that could make a difference. Patterson, Liston and those guys wore six ounce gloves. That's why you had one punch knock outs in those days.
DT - How about the fact the fight will take place in Dallas, any advantage for either fighter.
MB - I have heard that they have already sold over 60,000 seats for this fight. That means there will be a huge Latino turnout who will all favor Margarito. That vocal support will be very inspirational for Margarito. We were talking about conditioning for the fight and I would like to add that I think it is a great step for Margarito to be training with Robert Garcia. He is a great trainer and one of the really good guys in boxing. He has done a lot for the people in Oxnard and dedicated himself to boxing. I think that Margarito will benefit a lot from this change in trainers. Everybody knows that Freddie Roach is probably the best in the world but Garcia will have Margarito in great condition for this fight. Anyone following HBO's 24/7 for this fight can attest that Margarito is in great condition.
DT - Michael, where does Pacquiao go next if he wins this fight?
MB - Well, of course all boxing fans would like to see Pacquiao fight Mayweather to decide who is the best pound for pound fighter. Now we have to wait and see how Mayweather's personal problems play out....I will not comment on that aspect, it's something that none of us really know what's going on there.....but as a fight fan that's the dream fight, the one we all want to see. It's much like the Trinidad/ De La Hoya, Hagler/ Hearns, Hagler/ Leonard.....those type of fights. It's just something that we will have to wait and see if the fight can be made.
DT - Michael, thank you very much for the interview. We all look forward to your work this Saturday at the Margarito/ Pacquiao bout on HBO PPV.
MB - Anytime David, let's stay in touch.
Readers: I received the following e-mail from Michael Buffer today. It touched me in a special way. Michael is a very humble man and I would like to share the e-mail with you.........
David, I forgot to mention that after Klitschko's fight in Germany on December 11th, my wife, Christine and I will spend 4 days visiting the troops at Landstuhl Military Hospital and Ramstein AFB...this will be our 5th time doing this with the USO...also EVERLAST, as always, will send boxes of gloves for personalized autographs...they have been super in their support for these visits. During these visits we have gone to every room in the hospital, been on the tarmac at 7am as our wounded warriors are put onboard C17s for the trip to Walter Reed, visited USO centers and hang with the troops for a whole day (one day Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs stopped by and another time it was Kid Rock, Kelly Pickler and Louis Black)...the USO does a nonstop fantastic job and the medical staff are saints! We are really glad this visit is just before the Holidays and hope we can bring a little touch of all the love and support to them that all of us back home have for our men and women in service. Today being Veterans Day, I wanted to share this with you.
Readers: Agree or disagree with this boxing expert......e-mail me with your predictions and thoughts on this interview. Also, from today, Teddy Atlas goes in-depth on Pacquiao vs Margarito... Click here for Full Interview with Atlas.
***David Tyler replies to all his e-mails and loves to hear from the readers. Comments, Questions, Suggestions, E-mail David now at:firstname.lastname@example.org