Boxing Announcer Jim FitzGerald
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
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
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
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, NOW IN THE RING WHAT YOU HAVE ALL
BEEN WAITING FOR.....
HEEEEEEEEERE WE GO IT'S TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT OF THIS
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
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
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
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
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
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.