Hatfield’s Billy Joe Saunders branded ‘idiotic’ by promoter Eddie Hearn after video advising how to hit female partners
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Billy Joe Saunders has had his licence to fight suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control after a video on social media emerged in which he advised men how to hit their female partners.
Hatfield’s WBO super-middleweight champion used a punch bag to demonstrate how to react if “your old woman is giving you mouth” in a video his own promoter Eddie Hearn described as “idiotic” and “unacceptable”.
Saunders himself admitted he made “a silly mistake”, insisting his intention was not to condone spousal abuse before adding he will donate £25,000 to domestic violence charities.
But he will also have to answer to the BBBofC, which said in a statement: “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.”
Hearn, head of Matchroom Boxing who only signed Saunders in August, was naturally furious.
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Speaking on talkSPORT he said: “I haven’t spoke to [Saunders]. I spoke to his management team last night. I was appalled really.
“It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He’s a really good kid, with a really good heart.
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“He does a lot for the community, he does a lot for charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid things.
“The world has changed and realised about all kinds of different things, about how you need to treat people.
“Thinking you’re having a laugh, or not having a laugh, young people are watching that video. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it’s unacceptable.”
This is not the first time the unbeaten Saunders has attracted the attention of the BBBofC after fining him £100,000 in September 2018 following a social media video in which he encouraged a woman to perform a sex act in exchange for £150 worth of drugs.
He also spoke to talkSPORT and said: “I said it as a bit of a joke at first. I wasn’t obviously thinking.
“It was a silly mistake but I didn’t mean to cause any harm to anyone and I certainly wouldn’t promote domestic violence. I thought I would make a few people laugh but obviously it has flipped on the other side with people.
“I didn’t mean for anyone to get upset about it. There are people dying all around the world with coronavirus and I was just trying to take the heat off that a little bit.
“It clearly hasn’t done, my sense of humour is not everyone’s cup of tea.
“I can only take it back and apologise, I will be donating £25,000 to support the domestic violence charity.
“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.”