World champion Billy Joe Saunders has had his boxing license suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control pending a misconduct hearing.
WBO super-middleweight champion Saunders has been charged with misconduct over a viral video sent on WhatsApp and leaked online over the weekend in which he appeared to use a punchbag to advise men on how to hit women annoying them during the coronavirus lockdown.
The 30-year-old apologised for the video but has now been suspended until his hearing at a date yet to be decided.
A statement from the British Boxing Board of Control read: "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."
The punishment comes after his promoter, Eddie Hearn, admitted being "appalled" by the video but defended the character of his fighter despite the "idiotic" behaviour.
Hearn told talkSPORT: I haven’t spoke to him. 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.
“He does a lot for the community, he does a lot for charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid things.
“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.
“It’s always the same with Billy. He spent the weekend down at the NHS, delivering food packages, and meeting people.
“It’s one step forward, four steps back with Billy and it is frustrating.
“I can only tell you, he does have a good heart. He didn’t mean anything in the video, but you just can’t do it, especially when you’re in your position.
“It’s unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It’s much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it.”
- Eddie Hearn
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