LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — The WBO super middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders apologized on Sunday for a video in which he advised men how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.
In the video, the 30-year-old British boxer threw two punches at a bag in his barn, saying this was how men could manage “if your old woman is giving you mouth.”
“As she comes in she’s just about to say something, all of a sudden you explode, bam,” Saunders said in the video while demonstrating how to “hit her on the chin” and “finish her off.”
But after outrage on Twitter, with some calling for Saunders to be banned from the sport, the boxer apologized and clarified he did not condone men hitting women.
“I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself,” he said on Twitter. “Apologies if I offended any women.”
This was not his first brush with social media controversy. Saunders was fined 100,000 pounds ($125,000) in 2018 by the British Boxing Board of Control for posting a video in which he offered a woman drugs to perform a sex act on another person.
The latest video, that came to notice after being circulated on Whatsapp, comes amid rising concern about an increase in domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown.
Britain’s interior minister, Priti Patel, writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, acknowledged isolation measures may leave victims of abuse feeling vulnerable and made clear anyone at risk could leave their home despite the restrictions. ($1 = 0.8031 pounds)
(Reporting by Amber Milne; editing by Belinda Goldsmith of the Thomson Reuters Foundation)