Billy Joe Saunders has made a public apology after laughing over a suspected coronavirus situation involving one of his friends.
The WBO super-middleweight champion put up a video on Saturday in which he admitted to calling an airline and informing them his friend had been feeling unwell before his flight home from the US.
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Saunders claimed the call was serious, not a prank, and it resulted in his friend being pulled off his flight, along with trainer Ben Davison and campmate Josh Taylor who were flying home with him.
Billy Joe had previously been out in American training with Davison, Taylor and the unnamed friend before all boxing events were put on hold as a result of the pandemic.
The 30-year-old said in his video: “Just wanted to clear a couple of issues up that I’ve seen flying around social media today. One of my best mates was in camp with me, supposed to fly back with me yesterday.
“He didn’t fly back because he felt a little bit poorly, woke up this morning feeling in a bit worse position. Anyway he made his decision to go back. I didn’t want him to go back.
“He was going with Ben Davison, who obviously trains me and stablemate Josh Taylor. Anyway they pulled him off the flight once I made them aware.
“When they pulled him off the flight he had his test and thank God he didn’t have coronavirus. Like I say, it’s nothing to be laughed at, a member of my family has just been diagnosed with it in the last 24 hours.
“But once the seriousness was gone and I knew he didn’t have it, then it became a bit of a joke that he missed his flight.
“I’m very embarrassed about laughing about that because amongst friends it’s okay but it’s getting out to the public’s ears. So I just want to apologise to the public if it’s offended you.”