Mikkel Kessler is out of his April 14 date with Robert Stieglitz with a hand injury, and George Groves has withdrawn from Friday's rematch with Kenny Anderson at Wembley Arena, with a Frank Warren release citing "medical reasons" and nothing more.
Kessler will return on May 19, but won't be fighting Stieglitz, who currently holds the WBO title. This is the second time this fight has been called off, as the two were due to fight last November. Kessler may instead fight Brian Magee, which had been rumored for April 21 recently.
As for Groves, he's now in line to face Stieglitz for the WBO title, which seems a little too coincidental to just be a coincidence, but what do I know? BoxingScene.com reported that SES Boxing, Stieglitz's promoter, won a purse bid earlier today in Hungary for the rights to stage the fight.
Here's what Warren said about Groves-Anderson:
"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. 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."
Anderson, for his part, isn't exactly thrilled, and feels he's being given the runaround, and that Groves is not injured. From Terence Dooley:
"I don’t believe in my heart that he’s injured. That is the feeling I’ve got. I don’t think they wanted to have this fight, it is too risky and they want this 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. If it happens then it is disgusting."
It's hard not to figure he's right, honestly. Like I said, this all seems too big a coincidence to really be a coincidence. There'd already been talk of Stieglitz-Kessler falling through again, and Kessler fighting Magee instead. Take Kessler out and Stieglitz needs a new mandatory, which happens to be Groves, who suddenly is injured and can't fight on Friday. I can't say as though I'm buying it either.