British boxer has license suspended over video comments

Sports

FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2017, file photo, Billy Joe Saunders, of Britain, celebrates his win over David Lemieux, of Canada, to retain the WBO middleweight boxing title in Laval, Quebec. Saunders had his boxing license suspended Monday, March 30, 2020, after publishing a social media video in which he appeared to condone domestic violence amid the coronavirus outbreak. He has apologized for his remarks, saying: “It was a silly mistake but I didn’t mean to cause any harm to anyone and I certainly wouldn’t promote domestic violence.”(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — British boxer Billy Joe Saunders had his boxing license suspended Monday after publishing a social media video in which he appeared to condone domestic violence amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The WBO super-middleweight champion filmed himself working out and offered men advice on how to hit their female partners during the lockdown.

The British Boxing Board of Control said it has investigated Saunders’ comments and decided to suspend his license under the regulations for misconduct. The body says a hearing will take place “at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.”

Saunders, who is unbeaten in 29 fights, was close to agreeing to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas before the outbreak of the pandemic.

He has apologized for his remarks, saying: “It was a silly mistake but I didn’t mean to cause any harm to anyone and I certainly wouldn’t promote domestic violence.”

“There are people dying all around the world with coronavirus and I was just trying to take the heat off that a little bit,” Saunders said. “It clearly hasn’t done. My sense of humor is not everyone’s cup of tea.”

Saunders has said he will be making a donation of 25,000 pounds ($30,750) to a domestic abuse charity.

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