James Butler (boxer)
|James Butler Jr.|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Born||December 18, 1972|
Harlem, New York, U.S.
|Wins by KO||12|
James Butler Jr. (born December 18, 1972 in Harlem, New York) is an American murderer and former professional boxer who competed from 1996 to 2004. He got 25 fights: 20 wins, 12 wins by KO, and 5 losses. On November 29, 2001, Butler sucker punched Richard Grant after losing and served 4 months at Rikers Island. In 2004, Butler was arrested for the murder of Sam Kellerman and was sentenced to 29 years and four months in prison.
Butler started off his career by scoring 18 wins and only 1 loss in the super middleweight division. This led to a title fight against Sven Ottke who beat Butler by unanimous decision.
Butler's next bout earned him infamy on November 23, 2001 at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, New York. The bout was a charity event to benefit surviving New York firemen and police officers of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and was televised live on ESPN2. Butler faced Richard "The Alien" Grant, a fighter who had decisioned him early in his career. After losing the rematch by unanimous decision, Butler had his gloves removed before the announcement of the winner, Grant then went to Butler's side of the ring for an expected exchange of congratulations. Instead, Butler sucker punched Grant, nailing a bare-handed right hook to his jaw. Grant suffered a temporarily dislocated jaw and a lacerated tongue that required 26 stitches. Butler was arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault. Butler was later convicted and served four months at Riker's Island detention facility.
Butler's last bout was a split-decision loss on August 10, 2004 to Omar Sheika.
Murder of Sam Kellerman and conviction
On October 12, 2004, writer Sam Kellerman, (brother of sports analyst Max Kellerman), was killed at his apartment in Los Angeles. His body was not found until October 17. Butler was considered a suspect; he had been friends with Kellerman for over 10 years.
Butler was arrested for the Kellerman murder and slaying on October 27. Two days later, he pleaded not guilty to murder and arson. He was held on $1.25 million bail. Prosecutors claimed that Butler, the only suspect in the case, repeatedly struck Kellerman in the head with a hammer then torched Kellerman's Hollywood, California apartment in an attempted cover-up.
On July 8, 2005, a Los Angeles judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence for Butler to stand trial on the charges of murder and arson.
On March 27, 2006, Butler pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and arson in the 2004 death of Kellerman. On April 5, Butler was sentenced to 29 years and four months in prison by Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, according to Deputy Public Defender Jack Keenan.
The suspected motive for the murder was that Kellerman had asked Butler to move out of his apartment because he was ruining it. Butler, who was struggling to revive his career for boxing picked up a hammer and killed Kellerman and then torched his house.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|25 fights||20 wins||5 losses|
|25||Loss||20–5||Omar Sheika||SD||10||10 August 2004||Essex County College , Newark, New Jersey, U.S.|
|24||Win||20–4||Dan Sheehan||UD||6||4 June 2004||Promo West Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.|
|23||Win||19–4||Reggie Strickland||UD||6||7 May 2004||Farm Bureau Building, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.|
|22||Loss||18–4||Thomas Reid||UD||8||27 February 2004||Key Skating Center, Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|21||Loss||18–3||Richard Grant||UD||10||29 November 2001||Roseland Ballroom, New York, New York, U.S.|
|20||Loss||18–2||Sven Ottke||UD||12||1 September 2001||Bördelandhalle, Magdeburg, Germany||For IBF super-middleweight title|
|19||Win||18–1||Jerry Williams||UD||8||24 March 2001||Bördelandhalle, Magdeburg, Germany|
|18||Win||17–1||Jose Spearman||TKO||6 (12), 0:59||29 September 2000||Station Casino, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.||Retained USBA super middleweight title|
|17||Win||16–1||Arthur Allen||TKO||2 (12), 2:03||24 March 2000||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Retained USBA super middleweight title|
|16||Win||15–1||Bryant Brannon||KO||7 (12), 0:55||29 October 1999||Farm Bureau Building, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.||For USBA super middleweight title|
|15||Win||14–1||Merqui Sosa||TKO||2 (10), 1:02||16 July 1999||Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, U.S.|
|14||Win||13–1||Thomas James||TKO||2 (6)||24 June 1999||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|13||Win||12–1||Jose Hiram Torres||TKO||7 (10)||15 May 1999||Leominster, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|12||Win||11–1||Calvin Moody||KO||1 (10)||22 April 1999||Virginia, U.S.|
|11||Win||10–1||Rufat Baku||UD||10||9 October 1998||Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, New York, U.S.|
|10||Win||9–1||Hector Rosario||TKO||6 (8)||11 September 1998||Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, New York, U.S.|
|9||Win||8–1||Tim Dendy||UD||6||24 March 1998||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.|
|8||Win||7–1||Knowledge Bey||KO||3 (4)||24 January 1998||Elks Lodge, Queens, New York, U.S.|
|7||Win||6–1||Malcolm Brooks||PTS||6||10 October 1997||Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, New York, U.S.|
|6||Win||5–1||Louis March||PTS||4||19 September 1997||Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, New York, U.S.|
|5||Win||4–1||Robert Muhammad||KO||6 (6)||18 June 1997||Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, New York, U.S.|
|4||Win||3–1||Gerald Holmes||KO||1 (4)||11 April 1997||Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, New York, U.S.|
|3||Loss||2–1||Richard Grant||PTS||4||31 January 1997||Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, New York, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Derrick Whitley||PTS||4||2 November 1996||Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Eddie Johnson||TKO||1 (4)||18 October 1996||Bronx, New York, U.S.||Professional debut|
- Wong, Edward (November 27, 2001). "BOXING; Boxer Barred and Charged For Sucker Punch After Loss". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- Smith, Tim (February 24, 2004). "A sucker no longer boxer back after punch led to jail, ban". New York Daily News. Daily News L.P. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
- "Boxer pleads guilty to death of sportswriter Kellerman". ESPN.com. ESPN Inc. March 27, 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "Boxer sentenced to nearly 30 years for killing". ESPN.com. ESPN Inc. April 5, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2017.