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WWE to hire Mauro Ranallo to become lead announcer of Smackdown

WWE is set to announce Monday that Showtime boxing announcer Mauro Ranallo will become the new lead announcer on Smackdown when the program moves to the USA Network on Jan. 7, according to a report from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.

Ranallo is a renowned boxing/kickboxing announcer and has called many major cards throughout his career, including being the voice of the international feed of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight back in May.

Ranallo has also called Mixed Martial Arts, as he was the voice of Pride Fighting Championships.

Despite Ranallo's extensive background in boxing, kickboxing and MMA, Ranallo's career began in wrestling, as he began calling wrestling matches in a territory in his native Canada.

He also currently calls matches for New Japan Pro Wrestling's weekly television show on AXS TV alongside former UFC Heavyweight champion and New Japan wrestler Josh Barnett.

Ranallo told Deitsch in an interview Friday that WWE announcer Michael Cole emailed him about the position about a month ago. Ranallo then sent WWE some of his work and apparently WWE chief operating officer Vince McMahon was impressed.

"This was an opportunity I did not think I would get at this point of my career and I jumped on it," Ranallo told Deitsch.

According to Deitsch, Ranallo will still call boxing for Showtime and kickboxing for GLORY kickboxing as part of his WWE deal. However, will assume a full-time role with WWE.