British authorities suspend Saunders' boxing licence

  • Boxing
  • Monday, 30 Mar 2020

Boxing - Billy Joe Saunders Media Work-Out - BXR London, London, Britain - September 25, 2019 Billy Joe Saunders during the media work out Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

(Reuters) - WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders had his licence suspended by Britain's boxing authorities on Monday after a social media post in which he advised men how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) said in a statement that Saunders' licence would be suspended until a hearing could be arranged under its misconduct regulations.

Saunders had filmed himself punching a bag in a barn and advising "dads, husbands and men with girlfriends" how to deal with their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

"If your old woman is giving you a little bit of mouth and you try to be patient... but about the sixth day you're just about to explode," he said in the video, before demonstrating how to "hit her on the chin".

Saunders apologised for the video on social media over the weekend and again on British radio station TalkSPORT on Monday, when he also pledged to donate 25,000 pounds ($31,000) to domestic abuse charities.

"I just want to say sorry again for everyone I've offended," he said on TalkSPORT.

"I looked at it as a bit of a joke at first – I obviously wasn't thinking right – but looking back at it now I can clearly see the destruction it has caused among the women suffering from domestic violence.

"It was a silly mistake but I didn't intentionally mean to cause harm to anyone and I certainly wouldn't promote domestic violence."

Saunders was scheduled to face Mexican Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in a super middleweight unification bout on May 2 in Las Vegas before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Briton, who is unbeaten in 29 bouts and held a world title in the middleweight division before moving up to super-middleweight, was fined 100,000 pounds by the BBBofC in September 2018 for a previous social media post.

In that instance, Saunders posted a video on social media in which he offered a woman drugs to perform a sex act on another person.

The BBBofC said in a separate statement on Monday that it had further extended its suspension of the boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction for the month of May.

($1 = 0.8064 pounds)

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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