Los Angeles, CA – In the long and storied history of boxing, there is one voice that fans can always count on to let them know that it’s time for the main event, and that voice belongs to Michael Buffer.
Similar to the venerable ring announcer, Tupac Shakur also had a voice that was recognized around the world and helped propel him to superstardom.
On his 1996 double album, All Eyez On Me Pac sampled Buffer’s voice and famous catchphrase “Let’s get ready to rumble” on the classic introductory track “Ambitionz Az A Ridah.”
HipHopDX hit the red carpet for the premiere of HBO’s new Muhammad Ali documentary What’s My Name. Buffer was there and in an exclusive conversation revealed that he and the late MC were actually planning to hop in the studio together before the tragic events of September 7, 1996, cut Pac’s life short.
“Tupac and I met and we became a bit friendly and in the works, in the planning stages, just from lip service back and forth, he was gonna put [a song] together called ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble.’” Buffer recalled. “He actually used the line in [‘Ambitionz Az A Ridah’]. We were gonna have it as the feature title and then, of course, he came to that horrible end and it never happened, but yeah, he was gonna put together a song ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble’ and have me featured on it.”
As a boxing fan and personal friend of Mike Tyson, Tupac and Buffer crossed paths a number of times but as the 74-year-old tells it, he will always remember the collaboration that could have been with his late friend.
“The last time I spoke to Tupac] was after the Grammys, it was in New York. We chatted a bit and that was the last time I saw him. A year later he was gone,” noted Buffer. “I was very impressed and excited that he knew who the hell I was, and just the fact that we almost had a chance to work together and collaborate on something I’ll always cherish that.”
Long before Tupac was an international superstar, Muhammad Ali became worldwide phenom thanks to his abilities in the ring as well as his undeniable charisma and strong principles. Michael Buffer met Ali in the 70s before he was even in the boxing world but he also shared one of his fondest memories of the late champ that, like most of his qualities, translated to Hip Hop.
“My favorite story is as the years would go by and I would see him in the later stages of his life, his voice was down to a whisper and we’d see each other and embrace and he’d whisper in my ear ‘I’m still prettier than you.’ If there’s anything I take away from him it’s always try to be the best showman you can be.”
What’s My Name premieres May 14th at 5:00pm on HBO.