Boxer suspended after posting video online 'showing men how to hit women'
By Clodagh Meaney
British super-middleweight boxer Billy Joe Saunders has had his boxing license suspended after he posted a video online "showing men how to hit women."
The British Boxing Board of Control took action after the 30-year-old posted the video in which in he demonstrated, using a punch bag, how to react if "your old woman is giving you mouth" during Covid-19 lockdown.
In the now-deleted video, the English boxer says: "I just wanted to make a little video for all you dads, husbands, if you've got girlfriends et cetera."
"Obviously this COVID-19 is getting very serious and we are isolated away in tight spaces," he said.
"If your old woman is giving you mouth and you try to be patient, you try to be calm, cool, but after the sixth day you're just about to explode," he said before hitting his punch bag.
It comes just days after police in the UK warned that victims of domestic violence were "very vulnerable" to abuse under measures introduced to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
"These are unprecedented times; never have we seen such measures from the government around staying at home," said Detective Cheif Inspector Lucy Batchelor, Leicestershire Police lead for domestic abuse.
"While it is of course necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus, it of course puts some people in a very vulnerable position. With the current situation, we are acutely aware of the risks of being in the same house as an abuser for long amounts of time."
Meanwhile, Women's Aid have condemned Billy Joe Saunder's actions. Acting CEO Adina Claire said in a statement: "Domestic abuse is never a joking matter, but when thousands of women are trapped in their homes with a perpetrator and are fearing for their lives, whether it is supposed to be a joke or not, the Billy Joe Saunders video sends out a dangerous message."
"At Women's Aid we know that domestic abuse is deadly serious and costs lives."
"Before the pandemic, an average of three women every fortnight were murdered by their male partner or ex-partner."
"Now that we are experiencing a nationwide lockdown, those living with domestic abuse, who know that their home is not a safe place, are even more exposed to danger than before."
The charity, which supports women and children affected by domestic abuse have advised survivors to ensure they keep a mobile phone on them at all times to contact the police if their situation escalates.
Meanwhile, Billy Joe Saunders has apologised for the video and pledged to donate £25,000 to domestic violence charities. In an interview with TalkSport he said: "My sense of humour is not everyone’s cup of tea."
“I can only take it back and apologise for it; I’ve spoken to my manager and among other things I will be donating £25,000 to support domestic violence charities."
“It is clearly a silly thing to do and I can’t take it back.”
If you have been affected by this story, or need to speak to someone about domestic abuse you can contact Women's Aid on 1800 341 900.