George Groves has withdrawn from Friday’s British super-middleweight title defence against Kenny Anderson – and it has emerged that the Hammersmith fighter is set to challenge for a world title in the near future.
Groves, who was floored by Anderson before stopping him in 2010, was due to face the Scot at Wembley Arena in an eagerly anticipated rematch.
But he has pulled out because of a back problem and the entire show – which was also to have included fellow West Londoner Steve O’Meara – has been called off.
And it has been revealed that Groves is now being lined up for a shot at WBO champion Robert Stieglitz.
The Germany-based Russian was due to face Mikkel Kessler – a former title holder who has fought Joe Calzaghe and Carl Froch – on 14 April.
But Kessler is currently nursing an injury, leading Stieglitz to make other plans.
Groves, unbeaten in his 14 professional fights, is rated as one of the country’s top boxing prospects.
Last year he won a close points decision against local rival James DeGale and blasted away ex-British champion Paul Smith in two rounds.
His trainer and manager Adam Booth insisted Groves was not ready to fight for a world title.
But Stieglitz is regarded as one of the weaker champions in an extremely strong division.
Commenting on the postponement of Friday’s Wembley bill, promoter Frank Warren said: “Of course, it’s bitterly disappointing for us and all the boxers involved.
“But in sport, injuries occur and there is very little anyone can do about it. I have had no option but to postpone the whole card until a later date.”
Light-middleweight O’Meara was scheduled to face former Commonwealth champion Bradley Pryce.