After years of talk, Billy Joe Saunders had finally lined up a fight with Canelo Alvarez. Then came the global coronavirus pandemic, followed by wordfight later in the year, overshadowing Saunders' shot at the Mexican superstar. And now, Saunders has shot himself in the foot by making an inappropriate joke at the worst possible time, resulting in a license suspension.
Over the weekend, Saunders posted a video on social media showing how men could best hit their partners during the global lockdown. In a video posted to his since-deleted social media account addressed to "dads, husbands [and people] with girlfriends," Saunders suggests how to properly deliver a punch to a woman if she is getting on one's neves while quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the video, The British Boxing Board of Control has suspended Saunders' license.
"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 reads.
This could be a multi-million dollar mistake for Saunders, leaving his status as an Alvarez opponent up in the air.
Saunders issued an apology on Monday, noting how poor of taste the video was made in and that he cannot take back what he has done.
"When I created the video in poor taste, I never considered how people might interpret it and instead was trying to make light of the very stressful situation we have all found ourselves in and the heightened emotions of families being confined to each other's company.
"It did not cross my mind about the actual reality of domestic violence and its sufferers and the second I realized it could cause any upset, I quickly took the video down but unfortunately with the way social media works, it spread like wildfire. I can't change that, I have and do wholeheartedly apologize."
Saunders has a history of making bad decisions with "jokes," in the past leading to big fines. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, Saunders' promoter, spoke out about his fighter's "idiotic" video.
"I haven't spoke to him," Hearn said. "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. The world has changed and realized about all kinds of different things, about how you need to treat people."
Saunders' license hearing may not take place for quite some time with the world dealing with widespread lockdowns due to the ongoing pandemic.