Two apologies in two weeks – A look at Billy Joe Saunders’ past controversies

Billy Joe Saunders has apologised on social media for the second time in two weeks after a video emerged of him offering advice to men on how to physically assault their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to controversy and here the PA news agency looks back at the occasions when his actions away from the ring have hit the headlines.

August 2008

Saunders' amateur career came to an unsavoury end
Saunders’ amateur career came to an unsavoury end (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Saunders was suspended by the Amateur Boxing Association for allegedly lewd behaviour towards a woman in the team hotel in France during a camp ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Saunders turned professional four months later.

September 2018

The British Board of Boxing Control fined Saunders £100,000 and issued him with a severe reprimand about his future conduct after video footage emerged of him appearing to offer a woman drugs. Saunders’ actions were filmed from his car and seemingly showed him offering £150 worth of drugs to the woman to perform a sex act, as well as asking her to punch a passer-by, which she did, before he drove off.

October 2018

Saunders vacated his WBO middleweight title to challenge the decision to deny him a licence to fight Demetrius Andrade. Saunders was refused a licence for the fight because of an adverse finding in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) test that took place in August 2018.

20 March 2020

Saunders posted a video on Twitter in which he said he was “embarrassed” for any offence caused after he called an airline to say a friend was displaying coronavirus symptoms, causing him to be removed from the flight along with Saunders’ trainer Ben Davison and stablemate Josh Taylor. The friend subsequently tested negative for Covid-19.

28 March 2020

I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself I have a Daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it would be end well . Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed x

— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) March 28, 2020

The WBO super middleweight champion apologised after a video emerged of him giving advice to men on how to hit their female partners if tempers flared during the coronavirus lockdown. The 30-year-old, who was working out on a punch bag in a barn, talked about how to react if “your old woman is giving you mouth” and “she’s coming at you, spitting a bit of venom in your face”.

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