George Groves
London’s George Groves has been forced to pull out of his May 5 WBO super middleweight world title challenge to Robert Stieglitz due to an unspecified injury.

Groves, 14-0 (11), withdrew from a British title showdown with Kenny Anderson in March and signed on to fight Stieglitz a few weeks later as he is the WBO’s mandatory challenger at 168lbs.

‘I am sorry to have to announce that I won’t be boxing on May 5,’ wrote Groves, 24, when announcing the news on his Facebook page.  “I have picked up an injury in the build up to this fight.  We tried to work through it, but soon realized I wouldn’t be able to perform the training needed to prepare for this fight. After coming back to London immediately and seeking medical advice, I hope that this problem will be sorted soon and will only be a short delay.’

He added: ‘I am truly sorry to everyone involved who will be affected by this.  This is without a doubt the toughest decision I have ever had to make, I am gutted but nothing worth having is given away.  It has only made me more determined to achieve my goal of becoming world champion.  Thanks to everyone again for their continued support in my journey.’

This latest twist means that Groves has only had 14 rounds of action in almost a year – a majority decision win over bitter rival James DeGale last May and a two-round demolition of Paul Smith in November – and will now have to look towards a rematch with Anderson, which is tentatively scheduled for June 30 barring any further injury problems.

Germany’s Stieglitz, 41-2 (23), is now on the lookout for a new opponent for the May 5 date after missing out on a Mikkel Kessler fight earlier this year and settling for Groves as a replacement for his Sauerland Events-promoted Messehalle showcase. 

Photo courtesy of Al “Big Al” Stevenson.
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