The voices behind boxing ring announcements

• By Michael Uugwanga

THE world of boxing is familiar with Michael Buffer, the man who became famous for his, “Are you ready to rumble,” saying in boxing circles but locally Lukas Simon, Absalom Shihepo, Taffandji Nyirenda and Joseph ‘Jossy Joss’ Hailonga who have become the voices of boxing with their ring announcements

While the world is synonymous with ring announces such as Michael Buffer, David Diamante, Henry Jones and Jimmy Lennon, local ring announcers hardly get the same recognition.

Confidente recently caught up with the country’s top four ring announcers who are making a big name for themselves, through their unique voices and swags, to talk about the pressure the job comes.

Shihepo (25) was born in Swakopmund, but grew up in Luderitz and is a nephew to Nestor Tobias, a renowned boxing promoter and his role model is Jimmy Lennon.

Shihepo features frequently as a ring announcer for MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Fitness and Boxing Academy.

“I am privileged to be from a boxing family of Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias, who is my uncle. Growing up in the Sunshine household is no joke, as you would have to walk, talk, sleep and if possible dream about boxing.

“On several occasions, Tobias would sneak up on me in my room and would find me imitating American boxing ring announcers specifically (Jimmy) Lennon Jr whom I have drawn inspiration from,” Shihepo said.

Besides being a teacher at David Bezuidenhout Secondary School in Windhoek, he is pursuinh a master’s degree in English and Applied Linguistics at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

“Getting into the ring as an announcer started off like a joke for me and when my short video taken by Tomas Shangula in which I was imitating boxing ring announcer, Michael Buffer, went viral on social media, there was just no turning back.

I did my first ring announcement back in 2016 at Windhoek Country Club and Casino and I recall how people were in disbelief as I was quite young at the time.

“Being a ring announcer makes you become more popular than the boxers themselves,” Shihepo said.

Lukas Simon (28) from Omuthitugwalwani Village, in Elim Constituency in Omusati Region had a dream of becoming a boxer, before he decided to take up a gig as a ring announcer.