The son of British boxer Billy Joe Saunders disrupted the weigh-in of his father and Willie Monroe Jr. on Friday when he punched the latter in the groin, drawing startled remarks from the onlooking crowd. The two boxers are set to clash on Saturday at London’s Copper Box Arena, as Saunders defends his WBO middleweight title.
As the fighters posed for photographs, Saunders’ son Stevie joined them on stage, leading Monroe Jr. to place his hand on the boy’s head, which elicited a punch to the groin for the challenger. The incident quickly spread throughout social media channels, with BTSport jokingly chiding the boy for punching “below the belt!”
Saunders seemed unperturbed at the moment of the punch and the follow-up kick to Monroe Jr.’s groin, as he continued to flex for the cameras for a moment after the incident. Saunders himself quickly took to his own Twitter page to defend his son’s punching.
“My sons been taught when A stranger puts their hands on them they don’t know punch and run away self defence,” Saunders’ tweet read.
Saunders also shared a news story about the incident on his feed, and retweeted a fan calling his son a “Future Champ,” in clear support of his child’s actions.
The fight between the two boxers has been significantly hyped up due to their ongoing feud, with Saunders’ having only recently insulted Monroe Jr.’s mother after hurling a homosexual slur at him.
“All you are is a load of bums coming over here and you’re going to get dealt with,” Saunders yelled Monroe Jr. and his team recently, according to the Daily Mail.
Saunders had only just finished labeling Monroe a “queer” before telling the American’s trainer, T.J. Nolan, to “bring [his] mum” to the fight during another tirade of insults.
Monroe Jr. took the hits casually, smiling as the boy was escorted off stage by security after trying to kick the challenger in the crotch and laughing briefly with a member of his team.
The winner of Saturday’s match, which is likely to be rife with tension following the pair’s feud, will face the winner of the fight between Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, potentially as early as December.
[Featured Image by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images]