George Groves is facing a longer wait than anticipated for his world title shot against Anthony Dirrell, who has vowed to knock the Hammersmith man out.
WBC super-middleweight champion Dirrell has been granted permission by the governing body to make a voluntary defence before facing Groves, the mandatory challenger.
Dirrell will make his voluntary defence in April, with fellow American Badou Jack mooted as the opponent, while the winner must face Groves in their next fight.
Groves’ promoters, Kalle and Nisse Sauerland, hoped to make the fight with Dirrell early this year and took to twitter to air their frustration.
“WBC boxing voted in favour of four month extension for voluntary defence. No opponent or explanation given as yet,” they said.
“We will be putting out a public statement next week. Thanks for the continued public support. Keep it up.
“My money is on Dirrell v Badou Jack who got whacked in the 1st round by Derek Edwards. Worthy challenger…”
The WBC made the decision despite an appeal from Groves and his team to reject Dirrell’s request of making a voluntary defence.
In a statement, the WBC said: “Mandatory contender George Groves won the WBC silver championship and made a successful voluntary defence last November while Dirrell had been granted a voluntary defence before making the mandatory defence of the division.
“George Groves’ team submitted an appeal rejecting Dirrell to make a voluntary defence requesting the mandatory fight to take place immediately.
“After a thorough revision and a voting process by the WBC Board of Governors the ruling has confirmed the following: To permit Anthony Dirrell to make the proposed voluntary defence in the month of April with the winner committed to fight mandatory challenger George Groves without any intervening bouts.”
While Groves has not yet commented on the decision himself, Dirrell used his Instagram account to confirm his intention of defeating Groves.
“Hey fans, hold tight. George Groves will get knocked out soon after this title defence,” he said.
— anthony dirrell (@Anthonydirrell) February 9, 2015
Groves won his number one challenger position last September before successfully defending it again in November and is likely to fight again before his world title shot.
He will also have to wait while his old rival James DeGale will fight for the vacant IBF world title in April, likely against Dirrell’s older brother Andre.
Speaking about a potential rematch with DeGale, Groves insisted he would only be interested if they both held world titles at the time.
An official statement from the Sauerland’s is expected this week.
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