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  Boxing Announcer Jim FitzGerald Interview

By William Trillo


On Saturday, November 26, 2011 All Star Promotions presents “Civic Disobedience” professional boxing at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel And Suites. It will be a grand night of boxing and MMA action that should not be missed.

As always Jim FitzGerald will be doing the ring announcements. Jim has been a fixture in Southern California boxing for many years now. Pound4Pound recently spoke with him about his career accomplishments.

Pound4Pound: Tell us when and how you got your start in the sport of Boxing

Jim FitzGerald: In 1986 I had the pleasure of working for Dr. Jerry Buss and Forum Boxing. I started out selling Season Seats for the boxing events held at the Fabulous Forum. Soon after I became the Director of Season Seats and also handled advertising and marketing responsibilities. During this time I handled all the VIP seating for individuals such as Ken Thompson, Dr. Joe Noriega, Mando Ramos and Dub Harris. Over the 14 years with Forum Boxing I worked over 260 shows including handling all ticket sales for Oscar De La Hoya’s pro debut. I worked along side many individuals including John Jackson, Antonio Curtis, John Beyrooty, Mike Garrett and Carlos Avilas….not a bad bunch of guys to learn the ropes from.

P4P: How did you become a boxing ring announcer what was your first assignment?

JF: On an early November morning in 1999 we were promoting a Championship fight in Las Vegas. We were having our typical pre-fight meeting when John Jackson had informed us that our Famed ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. was going to be arriving late and would be unable to open the show. It was Carlos Avilas that graciously volunteered me to fill in and get the show rolling. Again I had the opportunity to fill in for a legendary announcer….very tough shoes to fill, but an experience of a lifetime. I would also like to acknowledge all of the promoters who have given me the opportunity to announce their events. One I n particular is Ed Holmes of All-Star boxing who has helped me tremendously throughout my career.

P4P: Do you or have you announced at other types of events? What are they?

JF: Aside from working in the Boxing dept. I also worked selling season tickets to all of the events held at the Forum including the “SHOWTIME” Lakers. During the 92-94 seasons I had the honor of substituting for legendary Laker PA Announcer Lawrence Tanner. It was the first time I ever did any type of Public speaking….in front of 17,505 fans.

I also announce the California and World Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

P4P: When did you develop your catch phrase, "Here we go?"

JF: Unfortunately I did not come up with 'Let's get ready to Rumble" but in the days of announcing the Laker games I would say "Heeeeeere we go, it's time for the 4th and final quarter.....So I have incorporated that into my boxing/mma announcing....

P4P: You are also an actor. Correct?

JF: Yes. I have been cast as a ring announcer in “Daredevil, as well as the Get a Mac commercials. I have also been cast as an announcer in “The Hammer” and several local commercials. Also in my poker career I have been an advisor and actor in “Lucky You”, “Even Money”, “The Unit” “Lie to Me” “The West Wing” and even an Oil of Olay commercial.

P4P: Can you name some of the highlights of your careers to date?

JF: Aside from being cast in films and television…..I had the honor of announcing “The Legends of Boxing” in Biloxi, Mississippi. The card featured Former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holes vs. Mike Weaver. Also on the card were Butterbean and Jacqueline Frazier.

P4P: Were you a boxing fan before you started or did you become a fan at that time?

JF: Because I was working at the Forum during it's hey-day (85-99) I became a huge fan of boxing...after all we were promoting the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Jorge Paez, Chiquita Gonzales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Genaro Hernandez, Zaragoza v Banke...All became champions!!!

P4P: How hard is it for you to announce the judges decision when you know in your heart is wrong?

JF: Throughout my career I have announced hundreds of fights...some of course being contraversal decisions...but I always respect the decisions of the judges. The day Marty Denkin gets in the ring to ANNOUNCE will be the day I start judging...hahaha

P4P: How long have you been announcing MMA?

JF: In 2001 I was asked to go to Colorado to announce a UFC event. It was the first time I ever announced an MMA fight and it was also the first time I had ever attended an MMA event. Coming from the world of boxing I was shocked to see one fighter pin the other to the ground and proceed to beat him to a pulp....I was thinking....what happened to the standing 8 count.
Since that time I have announced many MMA cards including all of the "Born to Fight" events which is one of the biggest MMA shows held every year in San Jose and are put on by 3x world champion Cung Le.

P4P: The biggest difference between announcing Boxing and MMA?

JF: I would have to say the decisions...in boxing aside from a split decision it is usually cut and dry who won.... in MMA with all of the different tactical moves and holds such as the arm-bar or rear naked choke...at times I'm not even sure who won.
Although I enjoy both sports...I prefer a good knockout in boxing over a tap-out in MMA.

P4P: Is there something in announcing you have not done yet that you still aspire to do?

Yes, I have been a huge NFL fan growing up and it is a dream to do voice-over work for NFL Films....and of course announcing a fight on HBO

P4P: When you are not announcing what type of work do you do?

JF: I am an avid poker player. I currently own my own school teaching individuals on becoming Certified poker dealers as well as teaching individuals on how to play poker. I have dealt to Doyle Brunson, Sammy Farha, Johnny Chan, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer to name a few…all have won the World Series of Poker.

My other interest is MAGIC! I am a full fledged magician performing at various gigs throughout the year.
I won the honor of 2003 S.C.A.M. Close-up Magician of the year. I am a former member of the World Famous Magic Castle.

P4P: Closing thoughts for the Southern California boxing fans?

JF: I want to thank ALL of you for your kind word and your support of this great sport…because if it wasn’t for you there would be no show!

All Star Boxing celebrates celebrates over 14 years of quality fights for professionals and amatures andhave churned out some of the hottests fighters in Southern California to make it to the larger stages. Ed Holmes creator of All Star Boxing know how to find the diamonds in te rough and put them against each other. For Tickets to any of the Boxing Events call (323) 816-6200 now before tickets are sold out.


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