By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been informed that the WBO has officially removed super middleweight George Groves (14-0, 11KOs) from the mandatory position - and approved former middleweight king Arthur Abraham (34-3, 27KOs) as the new mandatory challenger.
Groves was scheduled to face WBO champion Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23KOs) on May 5th in Germany. On Tuesday he withdrew with a nose injury that was suffered in training camp. It was the second consecutive withdrawal by Groves, who last month suffered an injury and withdrew from a March 16th rematch with Kenny Anderson.
Previously, the winner of Stieglitz-Groves was going to fight Abraham, the WBO's European champion at 168, by the end of the year.
The WBO gave Stieglitz the green light to make a voluntary defense on May 5th, but the the opponent must be approved by the sanctioning body. The winner of the May bout will have to face Abraham within 90 days.
Groves is reportedly still on the British Board's calendar to make a mandatory defense of the British title against Kenny Anderson on June 30th.