Joe (Pepe) Saunders, who in the heat of the moment following Sugar Ray Leonard's fourth round knockout over Davey Green Monday night, slugged Leonard's famous corner man, Angelo Dundee, said yesterday "the punch was accidental and I will apologize as soon as I speak to Angie."
Dundee, who returned to his North Miami home yesterday, said that he has a little bump on the side of his head and a slightly wrenched back. But he says he is feeling fine and a brain scan proved negative.
"The guy was jumping around trying to get next to Ray," said Dundee. "Security asked me if I wanted to throw him out. I told them no that he wasn't bothering anybody. Next thing I knew I was waking up."
Saudners, according to Leonard's handlers is not connected with the camp but is just a hanger-on and an acquaintance of Leonard.
Saunders said he was asked by Leonard's advisor and best friend, Janks Morton, to drive the WBC welterweight champion to Capital Centre.
"He (Morton) asked me to drive Ray around and I was glad to do it," said Saunders, a 36-year-old former boxer. "I have know Ray a long time and was the first person to put the gloves on him. I'm not asking for anything. But I consider Ray a good friend of mine.
"I was just trying to protect Ray from all the commotion in the back from the fans," said Saunders. "Someone started yelling profanity and pulling my jacket. Then I was snatched backwards and I turned and swung. I had no idea it was Angie. I wouldn't have hurt him. I didn't want to hurt anyone. It just happended."
Saunders, who said he has boxed on the amateur level and had one pro fight, was grabbed by Capital Centre security men and detained.
"They grabbed me quick," said Saunders. "I was trying to tell them I didn't mean to hit Angie but they didn't listen. They took me upstairs."
Witnesses reported the men were screaming at each other with Dundee's last words: "You're a pain . . ." With that Saunders turned and smacked Dundee.
Dundee said yesterday he would not file charges.
"I can't start hurting people now," said Dundee. "Putting handcuffs on him and holding him awhile was probably enough to scare him."