Billy Joe Saunders has had his boxing licence suspended pending a hearing after footage emerged of him telling men how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.
The WBO world super-middleweight champion, who has regularly courted controversy, will face a disciplinary hearing after he was videoed working out on a punchbag and demonstrating how to ‘hit her on the chin’ and then ‘finish her off’.
The 30-year-old faced widespread backlash and, in a statement released today, the British Boxing Board of Control suspended his licence.
The BBBofC statement said: ‘Having 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 regulation, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.’
In a leaked WhatsApp video (pictured), Billy Joe Saunders blasted into the heavy bag hanging in his barn, while providing a running commentary for how men can hit their partners if they end up in a row during isolation
The suspension means he is barred from boxing under the board’s jurisdiction until they reinstate his licence.
In the vile video, Saunders said to the camera: ‘I just wanted to make a little video for all you dads, husbands, if you’ve got girlfriends.
‘Obviously this Covid-19 is getting very serious and we are isolated away in tight spaces.
‘If your old woman is giving you mouth and you try to be patient, you try to be calm, cool, but after the sixth day you’re just about to explode.
‘All of a sudden she’s coming at you, spitting a bit of venom in your face, ready to say something, you may have left the dishes out, I don’t know what you’ve done but you’ve upset her.
The controversial 30-year-old fighter is the current WBO middleweight world champion
‘As she comes in, she’s coming at you and you’ve lost it, just keep it safe with the hands. So as she comes in, she’s just about to say something, all of a sudden you explode and hit her on the chin,’ on the word ‘explode’, Saunders smashes into the bag with his right hand.
‘At this time she may flash and see white and think, “What’s happened?”, she’s in a state of a horror,’ the super-middleweight added.
‘She doesn’t know what’s going on and all of a sudden you dip down on that knee and you finish her off,’ here Saunders then delivered sharp left hook.
‘That should do the trick,’ he said.
The controversial fighter has since apologised for the shocking clip and said he ‘doesn’t condone domestic violence’.
Saunders claimed: ‘I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself. I have a daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it wouldn’t end well.
‘Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed.’
Saunders, pictured with promoter Eddie Hearn, is not permitted to fight for the time being
The video was not the first coronavirus-related embarrassment for Saunders.
He made a call to an airline which saw fellow fighter Josh Taylor and Tyson Fury’s former trainer Ben Davison thrown off a flight.
A recording went viral on social media after Saunders was heard laughing as he recalled how he tricked his friend into showing his flight details before ringing up Delta airlines and saying, ‘He’s got coronavirus and he’s getting on the plane.’
Saunders was due to face Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May but that fight has been delayed followed the spread of coronavirus. With Canelo set for a trilogy fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in September, Saunders faces a possible 12-month delay for his shot at boxing’s biggest star.
As revealed by Sportsmail, that fight could now land in the UK next May – provided Saunders isn’t handed a lengthy suspension for his latest misdemeanour.
Back in September 2018, the board fined Saunders £100,000 after a video emerged of him asking a woman to perform a sex act in exchange for class A drugs.
Earlier on Monday, meanwhile, the board extended their nationwide suspension of fights as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the boxing calendar.
Saunders will await possible further punishment after the conclusion of the hearing
All shows until the end of May have now been cancelled, including Dillian Whyte’s meeting with Alexander Povetkin and Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora. Whyte vs Povetkin, originally slated for May 2 in Manchester, has been postponed until July 4, while Lee Selby’s Cardiff clash against George Kambosos Jnr will now take place on July 11.
Chisora was due to challenge Usyk for a shot at Anthony Joshua’s WBO title at London’s O2 Arena on May 23. A new date for that heavyweight clash is being worked on and Joshua’s own upcoming fight is under threat, too.
The WBA, IBF and WBO champion is scheduled to defend his titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
A decision on whether the fight will be postponed is expected by the end of this week, with a contingency date of July 25 pencilled in and provisionally agreed between Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Tottenham.
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