Punchlines - June 19

Unbeaten Londoner concerned about his ring exile

By Nick Parkinson.   Last Updated: 19/06/12 11:16am

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British super-middleweight champion George Groves is desperate for an interim fight before his autumn rematch with Kenny Anderson.

Groves-Anderson II has suffered a further delay with purse bids not due until July 11th now after promoter Frank Warren could not find a suitable venue to stage the England versus Scotland super-middleweight fight this month.

Groves, 24, was forced to pull out of facing Anderson in March because of a back injury, and then had to withdraw from his first world title shot - scheduled against Germany's Robert Stieglitz on May 5 - due to a nose injury sustained in training.

The unbeaten Londoner is concerned about his ring exile, after boxing just two rounds in the last year. Groves demolished Paul Smith in a first domestic title defence in November following a points win over bitter rival James DeGale in what was a belting 2011 for the Chelsea fan.

But 2012 has been frustrating so far for the flame-haired fighter, who is now waiting to hear when he will box again. Groves is willing to fight in a non-title bout at the York Hall on July 5 or in the States on a Golden Boy bill on July 21 or 28.

"It feels like I have practically retired I have been out for so long, so I want to get some quality rounds in if I can soon," he told Punchlines.

"I've spoken to my promoter Frank Warren and I understand with the football European Championships and then Olympics it has been difficult for them to get the venues and put shows together.

"Purse bids are not until July now and then it will take eight weeks to put on the Anderson show. But I've spoken to Frank about keeping busy. It's not practical to be out of the ring so long.

"I'm fit and ready so if it means an eight-rounder or even boxing in the States on a Golden Boy show I'm willing to do it. I could fight next week. Frank knows how desperate I am for that Anderson fight and knows I also want to box in the meantime."

Groves defended the Commonwealth title with a six-round stoppage win over Anderson in their lively first encounter, but had to climb off the canvas in the third round in November 2010.

Groves is eager for the rematch and hopes victory will then be followed by a shot at the WBO world title clash between Germans Stieglitz and Arthur Abraham on August 25.

He said: "I should imagine Anderson will be my next big title fight. Stieglitz now fights Arthur Abraham in August and hopefully I can fight the winner at the end of the year. With a bit of luck I will get a fight before the Anderson fight because I have been out for too long."

Groves is currently training every day alongside former world heavyweight champion David Haye at a gym in Vauxhall, south London.

He added: "I'm training at the moment alongside David [Haye]. We are staggering it, because his warm-ups sometimes take as long as my training sessions. If I get the timing wrong, it can end up being a very long gym session."

Quick Hits

Rendall Munroe hopes to be back in action in just two months after needing nine stitches to close the gaping wound sustained by a clash of heads in Saturday's technical draw with Scott Quigg.

The WBA interim super-bantamweight title fight at Manchester Velodrome between Britain's leading super-bantamweights came to an abrupt, premature and disappointing finish when the pair banged heads 43 seconds into the third round, with former world title challenger Munroe emerging with a gruesome cut above his right eye.

After the technical draw, promoter Ricky Hatton vowed to stage a rematch as soon as Munroe is ready. Munroe, 32, was relieved to be told by his doctor he did not need surgery to mend the cut on Monday. "It looks worse than it feels," said the former Leicester binman. "It's a little swollen but nothing I can't handle. Eight to nine weeks, I'll be back in action. The cut doesn't stop me. It gives me more time to get in the gym and work on the things that I want to work on."

While Munroe lets his cut eye heal, Quigg, 23, is going to look into securing a fight on the undercard of Amir Khan's WBC world light-welterweight title fight with American Danny Garcia in Las Vegas on July 14.

Frankie Gavin appears to have dropped off the bill of the controversial heavyweight clash between David Haye and Dereck Chisora at Upton Park on July 14. The British Boxing Board of Control has threatened to ban any boxer who appears on the bill and unbeaten Birmingham welterweight Gavin seems to have been put off by the dispute between the authorities and his promoter Frank Warren.

"I would love to be on it but not if it's going to cost me a British title shot," said Gavin, who hopes to meet Bradford's British champion Junior Witter later this year. "I'm more or less in mandatory position for the British, so I'm not going to jeopardise that."

Martin Rogan, Belfast's former Commonwealth heavyweight champion, is set to be drafted onto the undercard of David Haye versus Dereck Chisora at Upton Park on July 14. Rogan, 41, who lost to Manchester's Tyson's Fury in April, is set to face a European opponent.

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