British boxer Billy Joe Saunders has license suspended over video comments

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Carlos Suarez Banteaux of Cuba, left, fights Billy Joe Saunders of Great Britain during a men’s welterweight 69-kilogram preliminary boxing match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — British boxer Billy Joe Saunders had his boxing license suspended Monday after publishing a social media video in which he appeared to condone domestic violence amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The WBO super-middleweight champion filmed himself working out and offered men advice on how to hit their female partners during the lockdown.

The British Boxing Board of Control said it has investigated Saunders’ comments and decided to suspend his license under the regulations for misconduct. The body says a hearing will take place “at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.”

Saunders, who is unbeaten in 29 fights, was close to agreeing to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas before the outbreak of the pandemic.

He has apologized for his remarks, saying: “It was a silly mistake but I didn’t mean to cause any harm to anyone and I certainly wouldn’t promote domestic violence.”

“There are people dying all around the world with coronavirus and I was just trying to take the heat off that a little bit,” Saunders said. “It clearly hasn’t done. My sense of humor is not everyone’s cup of tea.”

Saunders has said he will be making a donation of 25,000 pounds ($30,750) to a domestic abuse charity.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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