(Photo Credit: www.fightnetwork.com)
For decades, millions of wrestling fans all across the globe have known him as “Good ‘Ol J.R.”. Now, WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross will be joining CBS and begin calling boxing matches on the network starting on March 12th.
It’ll be the first time that the 64-year old Ross has announced behind a microphone on live television since his co-announcer and close friend Jerry Lawler suffered a heart-attack on WWE programming back in 2012. Despite that hiatus from announcing, Ross has his own podcast… the “Ross Report”… which averages over 750,000 viewers per episode.
“Jim is an iconic broadcaster who comes from a different kind of telecast, but has already shown in brief forays into boxing that he is well-studied and very respectful of the sport,” CBS boxing announcer Al Bernstein said. “And, he brings to boxing the same wit and larger than life personality that has endeared him to wrestling viewers. It will be great fun to work with him.”
Ross will be teaming up with Bernstein behind the broadcast booth in calling matches.
On March 12, the main event will most likely pit Zab Judah against Josh Torres in a 10-round junior welterweight fight. “I’ll probably be a little more irreverent than the traditional stoic old-school boxing guy, but I’m not going to disrespect the fighters,” Ross said. “They’re going to be put on a pedestal where they belong.”
His announcing debut came in 1974 for Mid-South Wrestling, and after stints with other promotions, made his way to the big time in WWE (then known as the WWF) in 1993, being a head announcer for the company’s biggest event, Wrestlemania IX.
Notably, for over a decade, Ross and Lawler became the most famous announcing duo in wrestling history, and behind the scenes, Ross was also the one who signed The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), and “Stone Cold” Steven Austin, among others.
Both Ross and Lawler were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2007 on the night before Wrestlemania 23.