Friday's Catch

by Pedro Fernandez


Just because I dislike Imus in the morning doesn't mean I wouldn't back him on a First Amendment issue or in any litigation prompted by what he (like myself) as a talk show host might say on air. BUT I truly feel ring announcer Michael Buffer owns the "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" routine.

Earlier this week, Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, the network who airs the Anus in the morning show, filed suit against the "Buff." Anus and company want a judge to declare that they have not infringed on the rights of Buffer's Ready to Rumble Inc. which owns the patent.

The media giant got a March 11, letter from Buffer's attorney demanding $195,000 for copyright infringement and unfair competition. They in turn claim they can use Buffer and his line because at one time, he had allowed them to record him at WFAN studios in New York.

I too once had Buffer introduce Ring Talk. But because of a sponsorship deal I made in '93 with SHOWTIME, I've used Jimmy Lennon Jr. since. But from 1987 to '93, Buffer would rerecord an intro when I needed one.

I feel that he owns the saying (at least the way it's used today) because that was his creation. Not the words per say, but the saying. I think Imus and his morning gang shouldn't be able to use the Buff's schtick without adequate compensation.

A station can't play a record without paying a royalty to the artist. I feel the same rule clearly applies.

Tieing Buffer to "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" is just like linking Paul McCartney to the song "Yesterday." He wrote it!


Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was arrested for Drunk Driving Tuesday when his car was reported to have been driving on the wrong side of the street which prompted the police to pull him over.

Once they did, they found a somewhat sauced Smokin' Joe and asked the former champ to submit to a Breathalizer Joe took the test and flunked. Frazier was booked and then released later.

Joe is trying to put a spin on this when today reports out of Philadelphia have Joe saying. "The whole thing was a misunderstanding.

You know when Joe's right, he's right. He misunderstood the law. Simple as that. The 52 year old father of five is at his age, unaware of the effects of consuming sizable amounts of alcoholic beverages. I hope Joe's boning up on his books, cause he's going to Drunk Driving school at the very least, and a fine.


If Herbie Hide and WBC big boy Lennox Lewis did battle in Britain, it would by far exceed the crowds that even the fifth Beatle, Naseem Hamed commands and enjoys.

Herbie, a loser once inside the distance to Riddick Bowe says. "Lewis believes in his own hype, but he needs to fight someone like me whose not fat. He's put on too much weight, he's lazy, and his performance against Shannon Briggs was useless."

Promoter Frank Warren, representing Hide, has laid an offer on the table for $5 million dollars for Lewis, a Canadian Olympian, now living in the UK. "In the first two rounds against Briggs I saw Lennox's faults. His mistakes. He's beatable and Hide is the man to do it.

Lewis goes with #1 Russian Zeljko Mavrovic in July, while Holyfield meets #1 ranked WBA guy Henry Akinwande on June 6, in Madison Square Garden.

Hide's attempt to play with the big boys was thwarted by Riddick Bowe three years ago when he was halted in six by the then former champ Bowe at the MGM Grand.

Shortly afterwards, I offered the opinion that not only was Bowe shot--he had lost his will to really fight. This was based on his wincing and flinching Riddick was doing when the smaller Hide feinted him out of position and making him close his eyes.

As for Lennox and Hide in an all English bout. It would be a fight with great ramifications in the UK, but with the exception of the WBC belt, very little over here.

Pedro Fernandez

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