World champion Billy Joe Saunders had his boxing licence suspended after an ‘unacceptable’ video in which he advised men how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.
In the video, the 30-year-old British boxer threw two punches at a bag in his barn, saying this was how men could manage "if your old woman is giving you mouth".
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“As she comes in she's just about to say something, all of a sudden you explode, bam,” Saunders said in the video while demonstrating how to ‘hit her on the chin’ and ‘finish her off’.
His promoter and boxing behemoth Eddie Hearn was shocked and said he was “appalled” by the “idiotic” video.
"I was appalled really. It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. It's one step forward, four steps back with Billy Joe Saunders,” Hearn told TalkSport.
"Young people are watching that video. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it's unacceptable."
Now, the British Boxing Board of Control have suspended his boxing licence.
"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,” the Board said.
Saunders also spoke to TalkSport and apologised for the second time after announcing he would donate to domestic violence charities.
"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,” he said.
I hope Billy Joe Saunders never boxes again after that. Considering his history with social media videos and the fine last time, I'd be surprised if he were allowed to continue. Domestic abuse rates are expected to shoot through the roof at the moment, his behaviour is vile.— Jane Wabley (@wabley_) March 29, 2020
That billy joe Saunders video is absolutely vile— daniel aled davies (@danielaled) March 29, 2020
Saunders’ second social media controversy
This was not his first brush with social media controversy. Saunders was fined 100,000 pounds ($200,000AUD) in 2018 by the British Boxing Board of Control for posting a video in which he offered a woman drugs to perform a sex act on another person.
The latest video, that came to notice after being circulated on Whatsapp, comes amid rising concern about an increase in domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown.
Britain's interior minister, Priti Patel, writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, acknowledged isolation measures may leave victims of abuse feeling vulnerable and made clear anyone at risk could leave their home despite the restrictions.