By George Stephens • 30 March 2020 • 19:14
AS we reported earlier, Super Middleweight boxer Billy Joe Saunders found himself in hot water, having posted a video showing men how to hit women, during the coronavirus lockdown. Hardly surprising, and completely correct, the British Boxing Board of Control have announced that he will be suspended from all boxing until a future hearing.
Following the bizarre video, the 30-year-old was forced to make a grovelling apology via Twitter. Naturally his views have caused uproar across the UK and internationally.
The British Boxing Board said in a statement: “The British Boxing Board of Control have considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media. We have suspended his boxer’s licence, pending a hearing under the Board’s misconduct, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.” Saunders was in talks for a stunning clash with P4P king Canelo Alvarez, but his latest ban puts that fight in doubt.
During the video – that went viral from WhatsApp – Saunders demonstrated a straight right hand followed by a left hook on a punch bag. Many have taken to social media, as well as the general media, to question the fighter’s state of mind, regarding such a dangerous and sensitive subject.
As a boxer, he has held world championships in two weight classes, including the WBO super-middleweight title since May 2019, and previously the WBO middleweight title from 2015 to 2018. Saunders is the first boxer from the travelling community to become a two-weight world champion. At regional level he held the European, British, and Commonwealth middleweight titles between 2012 and 2015. As an amateur, Saunders represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics, reaching the second round of the welterweight bracket. In the same year, he won gold at the EU Championships.
As of December 2019, he is ranked as the world’s second best active super-middleweight by BoxRec and sixth by The Ring. On December 19, 2015 Saunders made history by competing in the first world title fight contested between two members of the travelling community when he fought Andy Lee for the WBO middleweight title.
Calling him a “prat,” adding to his earlier statement, promoter Eddie Hearn, who owns Matchroom and who signed Saunders last year, went on to say “I was appalled. It was so idiotic and it’s so frustrating. I know Billy well. He’s a really good kid with a really good heart, he does a lot for the community and charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid thing.” While Piers Morgan has stated it is “absolutely horrific.”
Matchroom were in the process of brokering a mega fight between Saunders and Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez – most likely in 2021.
In a strange twist, Saunders offered to donate £25,000 to a domestic abuse charity but they still took a dim view of his remarks. Too little, too late, we think.
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