Anderson accuses Groves of running scared after calling off Wembley title fight
21:03 GMT, 12 March 2012
British super-middleweight champion George Groves has been forced to pull out of his title defence against Kenny Anderson on Friday due to medical reasons.
The bout was due to take place at Wembley Arena but Groves confirmed he injured his back during training and subsequently failed a fitness test.
Anderson, 29, has questioned his opponent's claims however, suggesting the Londoner has withdrawn in order to secure a world title fight with Robert Stieglitz.
Crocked: Groves has been forced to pull out of the Anderson bout
Groves, 23, climbed off the canvas to
stop Anderson in the sixth round in November 2010 and few expected their
rematch to go the distance.
Groves tweeted: 'I would like to
apologise to everyone who made plans for my fight on Friday! I'm gutted
and hoping for a quick recovery!
'I suffered a back injury sparring
with Eamonn O'Kane and haven't trained properly since. I failed a
fitness test today and decided to withdraw.
'Every fighter knows when you get
injured you don't just give up. You give yourself every chance to
recover and fight. I didn't recover.'
The postponement was confirmed shortly
after the announcement that SES Boxing had won the purse bid for Groves
to fight WBO super-middleweight champion Stieglitz in Germany.
Groves could now relinquish his British belt to challenge for the world title.
Anderson meanwhile, who has won his last three fights, reacted with fury to the news.
'It's brutal because of all the effort
we have put in,' he told Boxing Scene. 'A lot of people sacrificed a
lot of things. It's me that gets in there and fights, but everyone in my
life makes sacrifices – I am gutted.
Rematch: Groves stopped Anderson in their previous bout in 2010
'I think they're (Groves' camp) going
to have to look in the mirror and know they've dodged me for no other
reason than they don't want to take the risk.
'I don't believe in my heart that he's
injured. I don't think they wanted to have this fight, it is too risky
and they want the other fight (Stieglitz) because it is a bigger fish.
'If so then that is absolutely shocking, it is a terrible thing to do given the build-up and how much respect we've shown.
'The only time I'll get to fight Groves now is when I take the world title from him.'
Edinburgh-born Anderson may now fight
on the undercard of Carl Froch's IBF super-middleweight title fight
against Lucian Bute on May 26 in Nottingham.
The Scot's trainer Kevin Maree refused
to condemn Groves but expects the champion's reputation to be damaged
if the fight is not rescheduled.
'If George is genuinely injured, and I
believe he is as he is a professional, then the fight will be
rescheduled and we'll get him again, or he'll bump us and go for the
'If he does then it is on his
shoulders, he has to square that with the people who booked flights to
London, who paid in advance for hotels and tickets, and the fans who
wanted to see it.'
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
'We had already lost Matthew Hall, who
was due to box Sam Webb in a championship eliminator, because of an
injury and now with George withdrawing from the main event I have had no
option but to postpone the whole card until a later date.
'Once my team have spoken to Wembley about a new date I hope we can get this fight on very soon.'