A Sheffield-trained World Champion boxer has apologised over mobile phone footage showing him taunting a woman drug user.
Billy Joe Saunders, who trains at the Ingle Gym in Wincobank, has suffered a backlash after he was filmed on a mobile phone taunting a woman with the promise of £150 worth of crack cocaine in return for a sex act.
He also encouraged the woman to punch an innocent passer-by in return for a fix.
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The footage, which has gone viral on social media having been shared over 100,000 times, shows the boxing champion taunting a 37-year-old drug user after he pulled up alongside her in Nottingham in his £250,000 Rolls Royce.
While sat behind the wheel of his luxury car, he led the drug user to believe he was carrying drugs and laughed as he asked her what she would do in return for a fix.
Saunders, who has held the WBO middleweight world title since 2015, was captured asking the woman how much she wanted the drug and if she would perform a sex act on his friend, who was sat next to him in the car.
Shortly before he drove off while laughing, without any drugs having been exchanged or sex acts performed, Saunders was filmed encouraging the woman to ‘punch’ an innocent member of the public in return for drugs.
Another friend filmed the entire exchange from the back of the car.
Robert Smith, General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, said the footage was ‘disgusting' and Nottinghamshire Police described the footage as ‘sickening’.
A police investigation is under way with officers looking at a range of possible offences including offering to supply Class A drugs, assault, aiding and abetting an assault and public order offences.
Saunders, who is due to defend his title against American Demetrius Andrade in Boston next month, has since apologised for his actions.
Posting on Twitter, he said his actions were ‘banter’.
He said: “Apologise to everybody who’s took offence, totally in the wrong. Can’t do anything but be sorry. Banter when wrong.Apologies once again.”
He has been slammed on social media for his actions.
Vicki Yardley was among those outraged at the video footage.
She said: “Would you still be saying it’s banter if that was your daughter? Would you still be saying it’s banter if a stranger walked up to your dad slapped him and called him a paedo all because some idiot wants to exploit someone who is clearly vulnerable?”
Lee Doherty added: “He's a multi-millionaire driving around in a Rolls-Royce and instead of helping the desperate and destitute, he degrades and belittles and humiliates them in the most despicable way he can think of. Unreal.”
Anyone with information should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 and quote incident 887 of September 17.