Eddie Hearn has blasted Billy Joe Saunders for tarnishing boxing after the middleweight world champions was charged with misconduct by the British Boxing Board of Control.
WBO belt holder is facing sanctions after a video emerged of him offering drugs to woman in exchange for a sex act.
In the video, Saunders also told the supposed drug addict to punch a passer-by for ‘£150 of crack’.
A member of Saunders’ team has since claimed the video was ‘a fake-news prank’ created to build publicity ahead of his next fight.
Saunders will defend his WBO middleweight belt against American fighter Demetrius Andrade [who is promoted by Hearn] next month – but he could now face being stripped of his boxing license.
And Hearn has reprimanded the 29-year-old for letting down the sport and for not being the role model expected of a world champion.
“I know Billy and I like Billy, he’s a decent guy,” the Matchroom Boxing chief told Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“But he has to understand that he is a world champion, a role model, an ambassador for boxing and there are certain ways to behave.
“You’ve got a responsibility as an athlete and someone in the public eye to behave in a certain way.
“When we’re trying to do a job for boxing to expand it globally and to go to corporate sponsors and bring new brands into the sport of boxing – that’s the stuff that’s going to deter them.
“And when you talk about grassroots level, that’s the stuff where a parent would say [to their child], ‘I don’t like this, you’re not becoming a boxer’.
“I hate to say it, but going back to Anthony Joshua – I know that at a grassroots level you have kids going into gyms saying, ’I want to be the next Anthony Joshua’.
“And I’ve always talked about the role boxing can provide to kids in a community, not necessarily to be a future world champion, but to teach discipline and respect.”