In a swift move which will go down well with women’s movements, boxing chiefs have suspended the boxing license of British WBO super-middleweight champion, Billy Joe Saunders, following the boxers shocking video posted on social media on Sunday.
In the video, Saunders blatantly offered men advice on how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown, while demonstrating ‘effective techniques’ on how to go about doing it using a punching bag. He later apologised, saying he would “never condone domestic violence” and declared that he will donate £25 000 (about R554 000) to domestic abuse charities.
But the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) has announced the two-weight world champion’s licence has been suspended, pending a hearing. British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said he was appalled by what he described as idiotic comments. “It’s one step forward, four steps back with Billy Joe Saunders, and it is frustrating,” he said.
You just can’t do it, especially when you’re in your position. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it’s unacceptable.”
It is, however, not the first time the British boxer has stirred up trouble. In 2018, he was fined £100 000 (about R2.2 million) and issued with a severe reprimand about his future conduct by the BBBoC, after video footage emerged of him appearing to offer a woman drugs.
His actions were filmed from his car and seemingly showed him offering drugs to the woman to perform a sex act, as well as asking her to punch a passer-by, which she did, before he drove off. The boxer has since claimed that he has received death threats and is in fear of his life, following his latest stunt.