Groves may face Dirrell delay

The Hammersmith fighter is mandatory challenger for Dirrell’s super-middleweight title and had hoped to face the Michigan man early this year.

But Kalle and Nisse Sauerland, who promote Groves, have suggested that Dirrell has been given permission by the WBC to pick his own opponent before fulfilling his obligation to fight his mandatory foe.

Writing on their official Twitter feed, the Sauerlands said: “WBC boxing voted in favour of four month extension for voluntary defence. No opponent or explanation given as yet.

“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 are yet to officially confirm this ruling but the Sauerlands suggested they received the decision in writing.

Just last week, Groves admitted he was hoping for a ‘super fight’ against James DeGale, with both men holding world titles.

But he could be forced to watch his bitter rival claim a world title first after promoter Eddie Hearn revealed plans for DeGale to fight for the vacant IBF belt on April 25.