Grant vs Butler 2001: Disgraceful Sucker Punch on National TV (Video)

Written by Lee Cleveland at Oct 13, 2011 - 10:11AM ET in Boxing Videos | Classic Moments

James Butler and Richard Grant met in a live, nationally-televised event aired on ESPN, November 23, 2001 at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, New York.

  • The light heavyweight 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.

  • After losing by unanimous decision to the underdog Richard "The Alien" Grant, James Butler had his gloves removed and went to Grant's side of the ring for an expected exchange of congratulations.  

    But instead of shaking hands in customary fashion, Butler punched the unprotected Grant with a hard right hook to the jaw. 

  • Grant suffered a temporarily dislocated jaw and a lacerated tongue that required 26 stitches.

  • Butler was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and was later convicted and served four months at Riker's Island detention facility. His final bout was a split-decision loss on August 10, 2004 to Omar Sheika.

  • On March 27, 2006, Butler pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and arson in the 2004 death of Max Kellerman's brother, Sam. Butler was later sentenced to over 29 years in prison.

  • Grant later returned in October 2002 after a nine month layoff to recover and lost by technical knockout to Antwun Echols. His last fight took place in 2007 and he retired with a record of 19-15-1, 7 KO.


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