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JEFF POWELL: Lifting Billy Joe Saunders’ boxing ban is hardly a deterrent for future conduct

Billy Joe Saunders has been let off with not even a slap on the wrist, more a tickle of his palm. 

The price he has to pay for putting out a video on social media showing how men could beat up annoying women during lockdown is £15,000. 

At least that pittance, by his standards, goes to charity not into into his pocket.

But there is no further boxing suspension for the Hatfield traveller for his latest of a number of outrages. It is hard to avoid a suspicion that the British Boxing Board of Control have just come to a plea deal with Saunders to avoid an expensive legal case.

A powerful team of lawyers for Saunders took months to prepare his defence for this week’s hearing in front of the Board stewards. 

Nevertheless, the decision not to extend Saunders’ provisional ban sends the wrong message to the sport. Nor will it serve as much of a deterrent to Saunders regarding his future conduct.

A one-year suspension might actually have been for his own good, if it had dissuaded him from continuing to jeopardise his own considerable talents. 

This undefeated two-time world champion is one of the most naturally gifted boxers in Britain. He freely admits that he behaves foolishly at times. 

Hopefully missing out on a career defining world super-middleweight title fight with Mexican idol Canelo Alvarez will bring him to his senses. That prize slipped away from Saunders while his hearing was delayed.

Alvarez is now looking at a range of alternatives for his September Mexico Independence weekend fight in Las Vegas, ironically including Billy Joe’s fellow Brits Callum Smith and John Ryder.

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