British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves has had to withdraw from the Friday 9th December show at the Liverpool Echo Arena because of a hand injury.
The injury occurred during a training session this week at Groves' gym in Vauxhall, South London, and after seeking expert medical guidance, he was advised not to fight.
Groves was due to joint-headline alongside rival James DeGale – whose defense of the WBO Intercontinental title against Jose Maria Guerrero will now top the bill on the show - and a further title fight could be added.
Last month, Groves produced a great performance to stop former British champion Paul Smith in the second round at Wembley Arena and was looking to end a memorable year that included a win over rival DeGale.
Groves said, "I'm really gutted as I was coming along nicely in training and on course for the fight in a couple of weeks' time. The injury is a set back and I really wanted to end the year with four good wins. 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 bang as I continue towards further titles."
Adam Booth, Groves' manager and trainer, added, "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."
Promoter Frank Warren said, "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 including Stephen and Liam Smith, Joe Selkirk and Paul Butler. Unbeaten prospects Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Johnson are also on the card along with the pro-debut of Damon Jones."
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Tags: Frank Warren , James DeGale , George Groves