Billy Joe Saunders Speaks Out on England prop Joe Marler Racial Slur

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WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders has condemned England prop Joe Marler for calling Wales prop Samson Lee ‘gypsy boy’ after an altercation during their recent Six Nations match at Twickenham.

The Joe Marler–Samson Lee ‘gypsy boy’ saga could finally be resolved today after becoming one of rugby’s most high-profile disciplinary issues of modern times. Ten minutes into the England vs. Wales game Marler and Lee were involved in a scuffle after the hosts were award a penalty. 

The words ‘hey gypsy boy’ were picked up on a microphone and provoked an initial public outcry on social media. Saunders, 26, hopes the media attention surrounding the incident will make people think twice before using the term in an offensive way.

Saunders, who is preparing for his big world title defence against Max Bursak on Saturday 30th April at the Copper Box Arena, told Victoria Derbyshire during an interview on BBC 2 today: “In our culture we’ve had this most of our lives. It’s not been so bad in the last few years. When you receive abuse on social media from Twitter and Facebook trolls it’s not so bad but when you receive it in sport it’s not acceptable.”

Undefeated Saunders dethroned Andy Lee last December at the Manchester Arena in the first all-gypsy world title showdown. Gypsy and traveller communities have long been a feature in the British boxing scene but Saunders says Marler’s comments may harm English rugby’s image. 

“I’ve had it all my life but I’ve never had it in my sport from another sportsman. I was a fan of rugby and now I probably won’t watch England play rugby anymore,” said Saunders.

He added: “Now other people might think twice about using the term in an offensive way. There is no room for any racism is sport; especially at the standard that he is playing. I was talking about it on the phone to my friend Tyson Fury last night and we are both disgusted by it.”

England’s Marler, 25, says he is not a racist and has publicly apologised for using the term. The Harlequins prop faces a World Rugby disciplinary hearing today and says he will accept any punishment handed to him. 

Hatfield man Saunders is all too familiar with the public scrutiny that comes with being a global sports star and believes those in the spotlight should always endeavour to set a shining example for young fans. 

He said: “I think some people say things in the moment. Just because of the colour of your skin or your background it doesn’t mean you’re different to anyone else. We’re all human beings. Everybody makes mistakes but to do it on TV is a big game like that isn’t acceptable.”

Billy Joe Saunders: “Chris Eubank Jr. Is a British Level Fighter. He’s Not World Champion Material”

WBO Middleweight King Billy Joe Saunders says Chris Eubank Jr will never be on his level. 

The unbeaten Hatfield star (23-0-0 12 KO’s) has warned his rival that he’ll have to step his game up if he is to earn an eagerly-anticipated rematch to avenge the sole loss of his career inflicted by Saunders. 

“At the end of the day everyone knows that I’m chasing a big fight with Golovkin. That’s a big money fight and I want to test myself against the very best to see how good I am,” said Saunders.

“For the Eubank fight to happen he’s got to get past Nick Blackwell first. I’ve got more options than just Chris Eubank; I’ve got three or four options,” Saunders added.

Saunders put Eubank to the sword back in November 2014 to retain his British, European and Commonwealth titles. Since then the 26 year-old has gone on to reach the very top of the fight game by bagging himself a world title; an achievement that he believes Eubank will never match. 

He said: “Eubank says that going for the British title is something that he wants to do but I think that he knows in his own mind and his own head that he’s not ready for a rematch with me,”

“He can’t step up to my level, he’s a British level fighter. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think he’ll ever win a world title.”

WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders makes the first defence of his title against “Mad” Max Bursak and headlines an action-packed card that also features: The Vacant European Cruiserweight title between Ovill McKenzie v Dmytro Kucher; Ryan Walsh defends his British Featherweight Championship against James Tennyson.  

Billy Joe Saunders Publicly Calls Out Gennady Golovkin and Chris Eubank Jnr.

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Billy Joe Saunders was thrilled with his reception at Arsenal on Saturday and says the next time he steps on the pitch he wants to be fighting Gennady Golovkin or Chris Eubank Jnr.

 

The big Gooners fan went on the pitch at half-time for the Burnley game and was given a roaring welcome by the supporters in recognition of his fantastic win over Andy Lee to take the WBO World Middleweight title in December.

 

Hatfield ace Saunders then sat back and watched his side storm through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win and continue on their chase for a third successive trophy.

 

The undefeated 26-year-old says he’d love to fight at the Emirates and his targets would be Kazakhstani terror and IBF, WBC and WBA Super World Middleweight Champion Golovkin or former victim Eubank Jnr who he defeated in November 2014.

 

“It was a truly unbelievable feeling stepping onto the pitch where my heroes play week in and week out and to get that welcome from the fans made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up,” Said Saunders.

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“I’ve been to the ground many times before and previously to Highbury, but this was the first time I’ve been introduced to the crowd and it was a tremendous feeling.  I thought that nothing could come close to the amazing feeling I had when I was crowned world champion after beating Lee in Manchester, but last Saturday at Arsenal came very very close to it,”

 

“The next time I’m here I either want to be playing as Arsenal’s new signing or a more realistic option is to fight Golovkin or Eubank.  Golovkin would be an tremendous fight for British boxing.  Muhammad Ali fought Henry Cooper at Highbury so in this new millennium what better than a super-unification fight between me and Golovkin?  I know he was at West Ham the other week, but the Emirates is the place it has to be at.  As for Eubank Jnr, he’s already had his backside kicked by me, what better than me kicking it again in front of 60,000 at Arsenal!”

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