WBO SUPER middleweight boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders has apologised after a video emerged of him giving advice to men on how to hit their female partners if tempers flared during the coronavirus lockdown.

Footage showed the 30-year-old, who retained his title by beating Argentinian Marcelo Esteban Coceres in a technical knock out in Los Angeles last November, working out on a punch bag in a barn.

During the video, Saunders talked about how to react if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and "she's coming at you, spitting a bit of venom in your face".

The boxer talked about how to "hit her on the chin" and then "finish her off" as he demonstrated on the punchbag.

Following a fierce backlash on social media, Saunders apologised if he "offended any women".

"I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself," Saunders said in a post on Twitter.

"I have a daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it would be end well. Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed x".

Saunders had been scheduled to fight Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May, but the contest was postponed due to the pandemic.

Last week, Saunders had posted a video message clarification statement on his social media account after it emerged he made a call to an airline claiming concerns over a potential coronavirus infection. As a result, coach Ben Davison and fellow boxer Josh Taylor were removed from a flight.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to controversy. In August 2008, Saunders was suspended by the Amateur Boxing Association for alleged lewd behaviour towards a woman in the team hotel in France ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In September 2018, the British Board of Boxing Control fined Saunders £100,000 and issued him with a severe reprimand about his future conduct after video footage emerged of him appearing to offer a woman drugs. Then in October 2018, Saunders vacated his WBO middleweight title to challenge the decision to deny him a licence to fight Demetrius Andrade. Saunders was refused a licence for the fight because of an adverse finding in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) test.