Boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders has refused to apologise over a tweet which led to him reportedly being investigated by police and told critics: "If you don't like it, f*** off."
The Sheffield-based WBO middleweight champion has apparently been reported to police for hate crime following the incident in which he tweeted a picture of city shop assistant Jonny Marsh sporting make up, long hair and hoop ear-rings saying he was "confused" and that: "I don't think its right for kids to see."
But as critics continue to blast the fighter on his Twitter account, Saunders, 27, has refused to bow to pressure and apologise for the uproar caused by the photo, taking to Twitter to launch another rant last night.
He told his 92,000 followers: "Just to clear the homophobic rubbish up not at all in that way ' I won't apologise/ if you don't like it f*** off my Twitter EndOF."
Yesterday, a spokesman for South Yorkshire Police refused to confirm whether Saunders was being investigated and issued a short statement which read: "We can neither confirm nor deny the identity of any individual who may or may not be under investigation."
The boxer, who represented Great Britain in the 2008 Olympics before turning professional and winning the middleweight title, sparked fury when he tweeted a picture of Jonny working behind the till at Meadowhall's Urban Decay cosmetics and make-up store and saying the 25-year-old's look had left him "confused."
Dozens of Twitter users blasted him, describing the tweet as "bullying" and "homophobic."
But the fighter, based at the Ingle gym in Wincobank, remained unrepentant following the storm and tweeted: “People who can’t take banter should not be on social media" and added that he would “give people abuse if they keep righting [sic] to me over a pic I took."
The boxer, who comes from a traveller community, has also said he would place a "gipsy curse" on some of those critcising him.