"I'm gonna start to give people abuse:" Sheffield-based boxer Billy Joe Saunders fights back in row over "homophobic" bullying picture

The photo Billy Joe Saunders posted on Twitter after the outrage with the caption: "Where's Johnny." (Photo: Twitter).
The photo Billy Joe Saunders posted on Twitter after the outrage with the caption: "Where's Johnny." (Photo: Twitter).

A Sheffield based boxer who was accused of bullying after posting a photo of a male Meadowhall shop assistant with long-hair and ear-rings online has hit back saying: "I'm gonna start to give people abuse."

The WBO middleweight champion sparked outrage yesterday when he shared a photo of shop worker Jonny Marsh on Twitter saying that the 25-year-old's appearance had left him "confused", adding: " I don't think it's right for kids to see."

READ MORE: "I don't think it's right for kids to see:" Sheffield-based boxer Billy Joe Saunders sparks fury with "homophobic" photo of Meadowhall shop assistant
But after facing a backlash of critcism, the boxer, who is based at the Ingle gym in Sheffield, has come out fighting, with another volley of tweets - including one of him dressed in a bizarre carrot costume outfit and telling his followers that "people who can't take banter shouldn't be on social media."

After hundreds of people rushed to defend Urban Decay assistant Jonny on Facebook and Twitter, Saunders, 27, wrote: "People who can't take banter should not be on social media - bombs and fire killing people everywhere and more worried about the picture."

The Hertfordshire-based boxer, who comes from a traveller background added: "I've been called g*** P**** gipsy c*** scum all my life am I bothered no ' I take it as a pinch of salt ' before also tweeting: "I'm gonna start to give people abuse if they keep righting (sic) to me over a pic I took go and find a pedo (sic) on the net who takes pic of kids."

Earlier, the boxer, who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics took a direct swipe at Jonny, sharing a picture of him with his 92,000 followers sporting a bright orange "mankini" costume - with a suggestively placed carrot with the caption: "Where is Johnny? (sic)."

The photo of shop assistant Jonny Marsh which caused the furore. (Photo: Twitter).

The photo of shop assistant Jonny Marsh which caused the furore. (Photo: Twitter).

The row started when Saunders posted a picture of Jonny along with the caption 'walking through Meadowhall Sheffield and see this - confused' with a puzzled emoji face.

Saunders was criticised for his post which commentators said was 'bullying and homophobic while Jonny responded by saying that comments made about him made him 'feel stronger'

He said: "The comments on this post about me are vile, but do I care about the small words? No.

'If anything these small annoying things makes me feel stronger in myself and more proud to be me!'

Sheffield based boxer Billy Joe Saunders.

Sheffield based boxer Billy Joe Saunders.

"I really don't think my gender needs putting in a box. I am me, Jon.'

Saunders has moved away from London to Sheffield for training camps ahead of his title defence on September 16.