In the world of professional boxing, weigh-ins are usually intense but controlled affairs. Boxers face off, flex muscles, and exchange words, all in preparation for their upcoming battle in the ring. However, a weigh-in in September 2017, involving Billy Joe Saunders and Willie Monroe Jr., took an unexpected turn when an eight-year-old boy, Stevie Saunders, entered the picture.
Stevie, the son of WBO middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders, caused quite a commotion during the weigh-in. This young contender, only eight years old at the time, displayed some aggressive behavior that left everyone surprised.
The build-up to the fight was already heated, with both boxers clashing verbally and physically in the lead-up. The situation escalated during the weigh-in when Stevie decided to join the proceedings. His father, Billy Joe, gently nudged him to stand between himself and his opponent. Monroe Jr. tried to lighten the mood by playfully ruffling the boy’s hair. However, this seemingly innocent gesture turned out to be a grave mistake.
Stevie responded by viciously punching Monroe Jr. in a highly sensitive area and then proceeded to kick him. The unexpected turn of events left everyone baffled. Billy Joe did not intervene or reprimand his son for this outrageous behavior; instead, security had to step in and remove Stevie from the scene. Fortunately, Monroe Jr. took it in good humor and was unharmed by the incident.
The trainer of Monroe Jr., TJ Nolan, was less forgiving and criticized Billy Joe Saunders for his parenting, saying, “Maybe Billy Joe Saunders is teaching his kids to do wrong. He seems like a horrible person.”
Surprisingly, instead of offering an apology to his opponent, Billy Joe Saunders defended his son’s actions. He stated, “My son’s been taught when a stranger puts their hands on them [who] they don’t know, punch and run away. Self-defense.”
In the end, the fight itself was far less eventful than the weigh-in. Billy Joe Saunders retained his title with a comfortable unanimous decision win. During the post-fight interview, Stevie entered the ring and, with the microphone in hand, issued an apology to Monroe Jr. for the earlier incident.
While the weigh-in antics created quite a stir, it all ended on a somewhat lighter note.