Boxer sought in murder of Sam Kellerman

Updated: October 20, 2004, 6:51 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Sam Kellerman, the brother of sports talk show host Max Kellerman, was murdered in Los Angeles on Sunday, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for middleweight boxer James Butler in connection with the crime, according to the report.

"He's a strong possibility [as a suspect]," detective Elizabeth Estupinian told the Post. "We definitely want to talk to him."

Estupinian told the paper that Butler, 31, and Sam Kellerman had been friends for about 10 years.

Reached by the Post on Tuesday night, Max Kellerman offered kind words about his brother.

"He was a bright light in the world," Max Kellerman said. "He was my best friend."

In November 2001, Butler, after losing a fight to Richard Grant, removed his gloves and hit Grant with what was described as a "sucker punch," according to the Post's report Wednesday.

Shortly after the incident, Max Kellerman, then with ESPN, partially defended Butler in an online column, advising some leniency for Butler's actions.

According to the paper, Max Kellerman is taking a break from his Fox Sports Net show, "I, Max," to deal with the tragedy.

"We are allowing him to take all the time in the world he needs," a Fox Sports Net spokesman told the Post. Curt Menefee will fill in for the anchor.