The world of boxing suffered the loss of an all-time great today. World Boxing Council officials announced this morning that the iguana who shouts “Let’s get ready to rumble!” before every match has died.
According to officials, the esteemed reptile was found dead in its terrarium just after midnight. It was 18 years old.
A staple in the boxing community, the iguana was best known for its unique and beloved ritual at the most anticipated bouts of the year. At the beginning of every match for the past 15 years, the 2-foot-long tropical reptile would be ceremonially carried into the ring by an old man who would then hoist it up to the microphone to shout “Let’s get ready to rumble” before the night’s main event.
Shortly after making the announcement, the WBC tweeted out a tribute to the iguana:
In a sport often shrouded in controversy and shifting alliances, the iguana was a rare mainstay, a legend who became as anticipated a fan attraction as any of the A-list celebrities spotted ringside at marquee events. It shouted “Let’s get ready to rumble” before some of the most defining moments in boxing: Mayweather vs. Hatton; Hopkins vs. Taylor I & II; all four Pacquiao vs. Marquez bouts; the list goes on. And though it was unclear if the reptile ever knew what it all meant, its appearances were a hit with fans.
Said former president of HBO Sports, Ken Hershman: “The presence of the iguana transcended the niche audience. Sometimes, they had to give it a little squeeze to get it going, but once that reptile delivered, you knew it was a real match.”
Many boxers immediately took to social media to express their condolences:
The iguana was next scheduled to shout “Let’s get ready to rumble!” before the light heavyweight bout between Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal on January 30. Instead, the fight will open with a moment of silence, followed by the customary 10-bell salute.