‘My bad’: Anchorage fight announcer’s blooper goes viral

Bob Lester, an Anchorage radio DJ and sports announcer whose voice is known to thousands, had his Steve Harvey moment last week.

My bad. It was his Warren Beatty-Faye Dunaway moment.

My bad. It was Steve Harvey.

Lester made it big when his blunder at the Alaska Fighting Championships went viral last month.

He read the wrong result when announcing the outcome of a bantamweight fight between David "The Coffee Shop" Booker and Elijah "Young Snipes" Terrell at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Midway through declaring Booker the winner, as the referee was raising Booker's hand in triumph, Lester stopped talking about two syllables into Booker's nickname.

"Excuse me, my bad," Lester said. Then he proclaimed Terrell the winner, prompting a surprised Booker to walk over and congratulate his opponent.


At the same time, Lester was walking toward the ringside judges, some of whom were saying "Booker! Booker!" He turned back to the fighters and again spoke into his microphone

"My bad," Lester told the crowd. "I called it wrong. My bad, I got the scores right but I got the winner wrong. My bad, my friend. I'm sorry." Then he recited the scores of the unanimous decision and pronounced Booker the winner.

Quicker than you can say "La La Land," video of the moment went viral.

"Not only was it a Steve Harvey, it was a double Steve Harvey," said Sarah Lorimer, the AFC promoter. "I thought, 'Just act like that didn't happen,' and within 15 minutes it's on MMA Junkie because somebody was watching it live on UFC Fight Pass and clipped it and shared it."

From, the video spread to other fight websites and then to multiple sports websites, sports TV shows and sports radio shows. On Netflix, the weekly "Joel McHale Show" poked fun. On CBS Radio's "Jim Rome Show," Rome made a "my bad" sound effect.

When Lorimer left the Alaska Airlines Center that night, she had more than 100 notifications on her phone, which is synced with AFC's social media platforms.

"The next morning I had thousands," she said. "And it hasn't stopped."

Lester's is the latest in a series of announcing faux pas that have made headlines and consumed the internet.

Most famous, perhaps, is Steve Harvey's gaffe at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, where he erroneously announced Miss Colombia as the winner. A couple minutes later, as the presumed winner stood at the end of the runway waving to the crowd, bouquet in arms and crown on head, Harvey returned to the stage. "I have to apologize," he said, and then explained that he had misread the results and the real winner was Miss Philippines.

At the 2017 Academy Awards, it was déjà-oops all over again when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway gave out the Best Picture award. Given the wrong card to read, Dunaway said the winner was "La La Land." The movie's entourage was two speeches into its acceptance when the mistake was discovered and "Moonlight" was deemed the real winner.

At the AFC fight, Booker was Miss Philippines to Terrell's Miss Colombia. He was gracious in (fake) defeat, even though he believed he had won the fight.

"It was like a shock," Booker said. "It was like jumping in Eklutna Lake — even though it was 90 degrees outside, it was still cold."

Thinking he had indeed lost, Booker, a 38-year-old who is 3-2 in AFC fights, hugged Terrell, who was making his AFC debut.

"Even though I thought I won, I was happy for him," Booker said. "When I heard, 'I'm sorry, my bad,' I knew, yup. I could hear the judges saying 'It's Booker, it's Booker.'

"I've never seen this happen before."

Terrell, 21, said he thought he deserved the win, so he was especially confused. He's a boxer who expanded to mixed martial arts in February, never imagining the sport would earn him a certain amount of stardom.

"I saw it on Twitter," Terrell said, "and then I had a few friends tell me I was on TV — 'Bruh, you're on SportsCenter.' 'You're on ESPN.' "


Lester, who has been on the radio in Anchorage for 28 years and was the Alaska Aces hockey announcer for 20 years, said the only thing he regrets is how disappointed Terrell was after learning he hadn't won.

"It isn't even the worst thing I've ever done as an announcer," said Lester, 52. "I once announced a goalie had a shutout going with 90 seconds left in the game, and 30 seconds later the other team scored. We won the game, so I didn't change the outcome of game, but I ruined the shutout and everyone's booing me. I had to have an escort out of the building."

This time, his misstep brought virtual vitriol via online comments.

"People are brutal on the internet," Lester said. "They want me taken out, they want my family in prison. Good lord.

"Don't make a mistake, and if you do, make sure it's not on film."

Beth Bragg

Beth Bragg wrote about sports and other topics for the ADN for more than 35 years, much of it as sports editor. She retired in October 2021. She's contributing coverage of Alaskans involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics.