Billy Joe Saunders had his license suspended Monday by the British Boxing Board of Control in response to a social media video he posted online, which showed the WBO super middleweight champion giving tips about how to hit a woman.
Saunders said the video was a joke and apologized for it, but it is just the latest in several social media postings he has made in bad taste. In 2018, he was fined £100,000 by the BBBoC for bringing the sport into disrepute after a social media post in which he offered a woman crack cocaine in return for hitting a passer-by.
“The British Boxing Board of Control having considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media have suspended his boxer’s license pending a hearing under the Board’s misconduct regulation, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible,” a statement said.
Claressa Shields, the three-weight women’s world champion, responded to Saunders’ video with a post of her own, giving tips to anyone attacked as Saunders suggested. She said they should duck and “hit them as hard as you can in the nuts.”
Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) had been expected to box Mexican star Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) on May 2, but that fight was never formally announced. It is now on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Should the BBBoC decide on a long-term suspension for Saunders, it could permanently derail that fight.
Saunders’ bad behavior in videos goes back much farther than 2018. In 2008, the former WBO middleweight champion was sent home early from the Beijing Olympics after a video emerged of him behaving in a "lewd and obscene manner" toward a woman at a French hotel where the Great Britain team was staying during a training camp.