Billy Joe Saunders has been warned by the WBC to clean up his act ahead of a possible challenge against WBC Franchise champion Canelo Alvarez.
The Briton, who holds the WBO super-middleweight crown, had a contract to face Canelo on May 2 in Las Vegas. COVID-19 put an end to those plans, although Saunders hopes to reschedule.
Following the release of a video of Saunders jokingly giving men pointers about taking care of their wives with domestic violence during quarantine, the WBC has voiced concerns.
“The World Boxing Council understands the World is living through extraordinary circumstances. Struggling with different situations – all at the same time,” they said.
“It is during these difficult times when we must rely on our loved ones. We must stand together and support each other.
“It is with great disappointment that in a moment like this, boxer Billy Joe Saunders recorded an infamous video promoting domestic violence.
“While Mr. Saunders has erased this video and apologized, this is a mistake for which he must reflect and work hard to change things around since forgiveness may be hard to find.
“Domestic violence is not a joke and should not be taken as such. Any type of violence is unacceptable. #punchesonlyinthering.”
WBN would like to acknowledge their view that Saunders was in no way ‘promoting domestic violence’ and that the clip was clearly not serious.
Saunders has also apologized and offered a donation to a domestic violence charity for his mistake.
“It was a very, very, very bad out of taste joke. I’m a God-fearing man. I do not condone domestic violence under any circumstances,” said Saunders.
Whether the 30-year-old still gets the Canelo fight or not, the WBC may well have a hand in that decision.
Canelo is the current Franchise champion. This means any future fight is under the jurisdiction of the WBC – whatever the weight.
This means WBC chiefs will be able to give their opinion on any sanctioned fight between Canelo and Saunders, which effectively becomes a WBC, WBA and WBO unification.