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A ring announcer is an in-ring (and sometimes on-camera) employee or contractor for a boxing, professional wrestling, or mixed martial arts event or promotion, who introduces the competitors to the audience.
In boxing and mixed martial arts bouts, introductions occur after both fighters have entered the ring or cage. Along with each fighter's name, the announcer typically also announces their height, weight, town, nickname, win/loss record and any current or past titles the fighter has won. In MMA, the fighting discipline is usually announced. In professional wrestling, wrestlers are similarly introduced, though usually before or as they come to the ring. In-ring introductions are sometimes used for title matches or other major bouts, to add a "big fight feel".
The ring announcer often states the rules of the match. In boxing and MMA, this is usually limited to the number of scheduled rounds and the length of each round. In professional wrestling, the variations are much more numerous and so the announcer may have to explain significantly more to the audience.
When an MMA or boxing bout concludes, the ring announcer announces the winner, time of finish and method. If the fight lasts all scheduled rounds, the announcer will read the fight judges' scorecard totals, before announcing a unanimous, majority, or split decision victory for one of the fighters, or a draw. This is typically done from inside the ring or cage. In professional wrestling, the announcement is usually performed outside of the ring, and typically doesn't mention the time or method of victory. In a championship match, the announcer specifies that the winner is either still the champion or the new champion.
List of notable ring announcers
- Michael Buffer (Boxing, K1, MMA, formerly WCW)
- Bruce Buffer (Octagon announcer for UFC)
- Bret "Hollywood" Freeman (MMA Ring Announcer for Cage Rage Ultimate Challenge, Cage Warriors, Cage Contender and IFPA)
- Joe A. Martinez (WEC, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, Solo Boxeo-Tecate Golden Boy Promotions)
- Jimmy Lennon Jr. (Boxing, MMA Strikeforce)
- Lenne Hardt (MMA PRIDE, DREAM, ONE FC, GLORY)
- Jeremy Borash (former WCW and current TNA Impact Wrestling main event ring announcer)
- Gary Cappetta (former WWF, NWA, and WCW ring announcer)
- Tony Chimel (former WWE SmackDown, WWE NXT and ECW ring announcer)
- Howard Finkel (formerly the sole WWE ring announcer for the majority of their cable television and pay-per-view events; announcing duties now only occasional)
- Lilian Garcia (current WWE SmackDown and former WWE Raw ring announcer)
- Christy Hemme (current TNA Impact Wrestling ring announcer)
- Mike McGuirk (former WWE ring announcer during the World Wrestling Federation era of the late 1980s to the early 1990s)
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund (AWA/WWE/WCW; continues to make sporadic appearances for WWE)
- David Penzer (former WCW and TNA ring announcer)
- Justin Roberts (current WWE Raw and former WWE SmackDown, ECW, and WWE NXT ring announcer)