Who is Max Kellerman?

Gerry Plaza on May 04, 2015 05:25 PM
Who is Max Kellerman?
Max Kellerman (third from left) is no stranger to on-air controversies.

Who in the world is Max Kellerman, the man who had been criticized for “disrespecting” Manny Pacquiao in an interview after the Filipino boxer’s loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.?

For those seething with anger and believes this HBO TV host had done broadcasting a great disservice with his allegedly biased line of questioning, here are some facts about Kellerman as referenced from profile sites about him and news articles.

This broadcast personality is no stranger to on-air controversies.

In fact, Kellerman already had a run in with ESPN just last year, when he obviously ignored a network directive against on-air comments about domestic abuse in light of the controversy surrounding former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice was terminated by the Ravens after a video was made public showing him punching his then fiancée now wife Janay Palmer-Rice in the face that knocked her down unconscious. 

Kellerman told a similar, disturbing story on his radio show on ESPNLA 710 that he had also punched his then fiancée now wife Erin Manning-Kellerman in the face during a college drinking spree after the latter slapped him when he tried to take things into order.

Because of this, ESPN suspended Kellerman for the “inappropriate conversation.”

Yet, Kellerman is still considered as one of the top boxing sports analysts in the US. Aside from his work for ESPN, he has been a color commentator for big fights airing on HBO.  In the past 15 years in the sports broadcasting industry, Kellerman also did work for MSNBC, Fox Sports, and CNN.

Kellerman started hosting a pro-boxing program as a teenager in a public access cable TV network in New York, where he was born and raised.

He earned a degree in history from Columbia University before plunging into sportscasting first on ESPN as an analyst on “Friday Night Fights.” 

Kellerman then created and produced his own show on ESPN called “Around the Horn.”

Kellerman eventually left ESPN in 2004 to join Fox Sports Net to host a self-titled show, “I, Max,” which ran for a year. He then joined MSNBC as a contributor to news anchor Tucker Carlson’s program “Tucker” before rejoining ESPN as a radio show host in its New York station and a regular in SportsCenter.

But Kellerman eventually ended his stint in ESPN Radio New York and joined HBO in 2007 to host Boxing After Dark telecasts and then promoted to color cast the HBO World Championship Boxing series, in which, until now, he is the current full-time ringside commentator and post-interviewer.

In 2010, he became a regular CNN contributor, reporting on sports and pop culture. Subsequently, he reestablished ties with ESPN on the network’s LA radio station ESPNLA 710 to host a sports talk show. This became the precursor to his current job as one of the main hosts of ESPN’s SportsNation.

With his incumbent position as HBO’s full-time ringside commentator and post-interviewer for its world championship fights, the bout between Pacquiao and Mayweather was supposed to be just a day in the office.

But on that night, instead of being merely an interviewer, he became the trending topic after the fight for his supposed “patronizing” interview of Pacquiao. Kellerman was branded as “disrespectful,” “biased,” “obnoxious,” and “harsh,” among others and deserved “an uppercut from Pacquiao.”

With an obviously condescending tone, he had asked Pacquiao, “You thought you won the fight? Why?” To which Pacquiao answered: "He didn't do nothing. He was always moving outside. It's not easy to throw punches if he's moving around. But if he stays, then I can throw punches."

While Kellerman took to Twitter and declared “I love Manny,” and explained, “Manny disagreed with judges (so I) had to ask him about it,” he expressively said Mayweather was the better fighter that night.

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