Billy Joe Saunders has responded to drug cheat taunts from Chris Eubank Jr with a bitter counter-punch.
Saunders, who has now been stripped of his WBO World middleweight belt, after testing positive for the banned substance oxilofrine, had been due to defend against undefeated American Demetrius Andrade in Boston’s TD Garden on October 20.
Reacting to Saunders' positive test, Eubank Jr compared him to WBA and WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, who has also previously had a positive test and was heavily condemned by Saunders afterwards.
Eubank Jr tweeted: "So @bjsaunders_ how long you been taking illegal substances for son? It’s funny how you were giving it to Canelo while you were cheating with drugs yourself.
"Enjoy your time out & don’t worry the belt you’ve been stripped of will be in more deserving hands soon enough #Justice"
Undefeated Saunders, who inflicted the first defeat of Eubank Jr's professional career when the two met in 2014, was never going to let that shot from his rival pass by unnoticed.
He responded: "You will never win a world title belt your British level tops. Steps up gets banged every time you Bum.
"Go play with your dad's knob."
Eubank Jr continued the war of words by replying: "I already have & I did it without using drugs & you’ve been ducking a rematch with me for years as you know what will happen to you.
"100k fine for taking advantage of vulnerable people & now stripped of your title for cheating. Karmas a B**** ey"
The vile taunt of Eubank Jr and his father Chris Eubank Sr, himself a former middleweight and super middleweight world champion, will bring fresh controversy to Saunders’ already questionable character.
As well as his positive drugs test, Saunders made the news for all the wrong reasons in September, when he was charged with misconduct by the British Boxing Board of Control, for appearing to offer a woman drugs and taunting her from his car.
While Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren has claimed that the positive test was due to a decongestant nasal spray, this latest question mark on his character has put a fresh stain on his otherwise faultless boxing record.
Meanwhile, Andrade will now fight for the vacant WBO belt on the same bill against undefeated Namibian prospect Walter Kautondokwa.