Injury rules Groves out of Liverpool fight

George Groves’ plan to fight in Liverpool on 9 December has been scuppered by an injured hand.

The Hammersmith prospect was due to appear on the bill along with west London rival James DeGale, who will defend his WBO inter-continental super-middleweight title against Spaniard Jose Maria Guerrero.

But Groves, whose opponent had not been confirmed, has been advised not to fight after picking up an injury while training at his Vauxhall gym.

Groves, the British and Commonwealth champion, was due to return to the ring only five weeks after a second-round knockout of Paul Smith at Wembley Arena.

“I’m really gutted as I was coming along nicely in training and on course for the fight in a couple of weeks’ time,” said Groves.

DeGale and arch rival Groves were both scheduled to fight

“The injury is a setback. I’m sorry that my fans won’t be able to see me in action, but I’ll back early next year and ready to kick of 2012 with a bang as I continue towards further titles.”

Promoter Frank Warren added: “It’s disappointing for everyone concerned, but George can’t fight if his hand is injured and if he did go ahead and put in a sub-par performance we don’t want to make excuses.

“He’ll have a good rest and treatment. and I’ll look to get him back out early next year – which will be a big one for him.

“It’s still a cracking show with James DeGale now headlining and our best talent from Liverpool all in action.”

Groves, who beat DeGale on a majority points decision in May, will have his condition assessed next week.

The 23-year-old hopes to fight for a world title in 2012 and his trainer and manager Adam Booth insisted it would have been foolish to take any unnecessary risks.

Booth said: “Obviously we are all disappointed as George was looking forward to getting back into the ring again so quickly after his great win over Paul Smith.

“At this stage of George’s career it would be crazy to compromise him and carry an injury of that nature into the fight.

“He’s been advised to rest it for now and we’ll seek further medical guidance next week.”

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