Sheffield boxer apologies over '˜disgusting' video showing him taunting drug user
A Sheffield-trained World Champion boxer has apologisedÂ overÂ 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 wasÂ filmed on a mobile phone taunting a woman with theÂ promise ofÂ Â£150 worth of crack cocaine in return for a sex act.
He also encouragedÂ the woman to punch an innocent passer-by in return for a fix.
CRIME: Sheffield woman, 83, in court today accused of murder 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 inÂ his Â£250,000 Rolls Royce.
While sat behind the wheel of his luxury car, heÂ led the drug user to believe he was carrying drugs and laughed as he asked her what she wouldÂ do in return for a fix.
Saunders, who has held the WBO middleweight worldÂ title since 2015, wasÂ captured asking the woman how much she wantedÂ the drug and if she wouldÂ 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 wasÂ filmed encouragingÂ theÂ woman to '˜punch' an innocentÂ member of the publicÂ in return for drugs.
Another friend filmedÂ 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 theÂ footage as '˜sickening'.
A police investigation is under way withÂ officers looking at a range of possible offences includingÂ offering to supply Class A drugs, assault, aiding and abetting an assaultÂ and public order offences.Â
Saunders, who is due to defend his title against American Demetrius AndradeÂ in Boston next month, has since apologised for his actions.
Posting on Twitter, he said his actions were '˜banter'.
He said:Â 'Apologise to everybody who's took offence, totally in the wrong.Â Can't do anything but be sorry.Â 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 andÂ quoteÂ incident 887 ofÂ September 17.