British boxer Billy Joe Saunders' suspension lifted after video appears to condone domestic violence

LONDON -- British boxer Billy Joe Saunders had his suspension lifted but was fined 15,000 pounds ($19,000) for appearing to condone domestic violence.

Saunders posted on social media in March a video of himself using a punching bag to advise men how to hit their female partners if they argue during the coronavirus lockdown.

The WBO super middleweight champion said at the time he made "a silly mistake," and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, described the clip as "idiotic" and "unacceptable." Saunders was also criticized by domestic abuse charities.

His license was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control, which, after a hearing on Wednesday, found Saunders guilty of misconduct and ordered his fine to be donated to charities.

However, he was cleared to fight, the BBBofC said in a brief statement on Thursday.

Following the backlash from his video, Saunders announced he would donate 25,000 pounds to a domestic abuse charity.

Saunders, who is unbeaten in 29 fights, was close to agreeing to fight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in Las Vegas in May before the COVID-19 outbreak.

This week's hearing was Saunders' latest scrape with the BBBofC, which fined him 100,000 pounds in September 2018 after another social media video where Saunders encouraged a woman to perform a sex act in exchange for 150 pounds worth of drugs.