MANILA, Philippines－The first blow in Saturday’s WBO middleweight clash between Billy Joe Saunders and Willie Monroe Jr was landed at the weigh-in on Friday, September 15 (Saturday, September 16 in Manila), by the British fighter’s son, and it was definitely below the belt.
As the two fighters squared up on stage, 7-year-old Stevie Saunders stood between them. Monroe saw him and gently ruffled the boy’s hair in greeting.
Stevie responded to the friendly gesture by hitting Monroe below the belt and then attempted to kick him before the boy was ushered away by security.
Billy Joe Saunders' son takes centre stage at the weigh-ins aiming a shot at his dad's opponent, Willie Monroe Jr.— BT Sport Boxing @BTSportBoxing) September 15, 2017
Below the belt! pic.twitter.com/fuEUtSYOv5
Saunders took to social media afterwards to defend his son’s onstage antics.
Saunders, the undefeated WBO World Middleweight Champion at 24-0, will defend his title against American challenger Monroe Jr (21-2) on Saturday, London time, at the Copper Box Arena.
The 28-year-old boxer captured the WBO belt from Andy Lee of Ireland back in 2015, and has only defended the title once since then. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com