Boxer apologises to Katie Taylor in sexist row

Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor

BOXER Billy Joe Saunders has apologised to Katie Taylor for slagging off female boxers by claiming that women are there for ‘hard sex, cleaning, cooking and washing’,

The 25-year-old, who is set to face Limerick’s Andy Lee for the WBO middleweight title at Thomand Park in September, made the controversial comments in the aftermath of a bout with Yoann Bloyer at Wembley.

Following Saunders interview, the current European, World and Olympic women’s boxing champion Katie Taylor tweeted that she felt sorry for Saunders’ wife and daughter.

But yesterday, saunders name-checked Taylor and fellow Olympic champion Nicola Adams during his apology.

He said: “About all this Twitter stuff I keep getting – all this bad stuff saying what I’ve said about women – it’s only a joke,” he began.

“Listen, Katie Taylor is a very, very good fighter. She’s done what she’s done. Nicola Adams and all that. I’ve got the highest respect for them. I’m not saying women shouldn’t box – it’s their choice. “They’ve won gold medals when I’ve got beat in the second round of the Olympics – they’re Olympic champions. I just want to clear that up. I reckon they’re very good to the sport.

“We’ve got to get men off the street and young boys off the street the same way we have to get young girls off the street. They’re showing that side of it. I don’t want to be painted as a man who thinks women are there for cooking and sex – even though they’re still good at it.”

The British middleweight boxer also claimed that his real fans would be in no doubt that he was joking.

“If people know me, they know what sort of character I am. I say things. If I can help anyone I will and I’m not one of those people that goes around taking the piss – ‘let’s have a laugh’, ‘have a banter’. I do my job and the fans like it. But I’m sorry if I’ve upset anybody and I apologise but that’s all I can do.

“I apologise. If anybody’s offended by that, I’m sorry. When you see me, just come give me a cuddle and I’ll cuddle you back.”