Billy Joe Saunders has had his licence suspended by the Boxing Board of Control after releasing a video on social media that appeared to condone domestic violence.
The WBO super-middleweight champion filmed himself working out and offered men advice on how to hit their female partners while everyone is locked down together because of the coronavirus pandemic. He later offered an apology but, as a result of his comments, the governing body took away Saunders’ licence, pending a hearing.
Its statement read: “The British Boxing Board of Control, having considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media, have suspended his boxer’s licence pending a hearing under the board’s misconduct regulation at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.”
Saunders will be making a donation to a domestic abuse charity. “I can only take it back and apologise,” he said on TalkSport. “I will be donating £25,000. It was a silly thing to do but it has been done and I can’t take it back.
“It wasn’t meant to be suggesting ‘go and hit your wife and your loved ones’. It wasn’t really done for social media likes, it was done out of pure careless thought. Everyone has an opinion. I am a very straight, honest person, I don’t beat around the bush. I am who I am. I didn’t mean to clearly cause any harm to anyone.”
Saunders, who is unbeaten in 29 fights, was close to agreeing to fight Canelo Álvarez in Las Vegas before the outbreak of the pandemic.