Hall of Fame boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer and his brother, Bruce Buffer, who has a similar role in the mixed martial arts arena, are "pretty different," according to Soledad O'Brien, whose profile on the siblings will be aired on HBO's Real Sports on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
"Michael is so debonair and laid back, and relaxed," O'Brien told RingTV.com on Monday. "Bruce is always on the go, and he's very wired, and a faster talker who always has 10 things going on and doing a lot all of the time."
Known for his famous introductions of "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" in advance of prize fights, Michael Buffer's youthful appearance belies the fact that he turned 69 in November. Michael was born to a young couple during World War II and entered foster care in Philadelphia at 11 months old.
Never formally adopted, Michael Buffer grew up with the surname Huber, but re-assumed his legal last name, Buffer, when he joined the Army at age 20. At the age of 42, Michael met his real father, Joe, as well as Bruce, 56, with whom he shares the same father.
"One of the things that I thought was so surprising was the calmness in which Michael told the story about really seeing the father that he hadn't seen, really, since he was about two years old. All of these emotions that you would expect to be flooding out of a teenager or even a 20- or 30-year-old, he appeared to have already processed that and to have had a lot of understanding for his father. You would think that there would be anger, and that there would be jealousy toward the other brother," said O'Brien, adding that Michael Buffer described his foster family as "very loving."
"Given that he felt like he had a wonderful childhood, Michael wasn't bitter. The way that Michael and Bruce get along, Michael was already at peace with that. So, the two of them, when they're together, it's so nice to see how they treat each other in friendly ways. They're very supportive of each other. They hug each other, they kiss each other hello and goodbye," said O'Brien. "They're very close and very tight. They clearly have a supportive relationship as brothers who only want the best for each other and support each other in any way that they can. They both share this very, very nice relationship and they're both just very nice guys."
Part of Michael Buffer’s personal story involves having overcome throat cancer thanks to an operation that removed a lymph node attached to his tonsils – the source of a cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Before the operation in March 2008, Buffer was lying on an operating table at the USC Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, planning to write out his will.