EAST Lancashire trainer Kevin Maree has warned George Groves that he will lose respect in the boxing community if his fight against Kenny Anderson is not rescheduled.

Anderson, who trains with Maree at Stirk House in Gisburn, had been set to challenge Groves for the British super middleweight title at Wembley Arena on Friday in a rematch after a dramatic defeat in the first fight between the pair.

But Groves pulled out on Monday after saying he had failing a fitness test following a back injury in sparring.

The Londoner’s withdrawal was a bitter disappointment to Anderson, Maree and fellow Stirk House fighter Jeff Thomas, whose British title eliminator against Sam Webb on the undercard is also now off.

Two coachloads of East Lancashire boxing fans had been set to travel to support them.

Promoter Frank Warren says the Anderson fight will be rescheduled and Maree has insisted that must happen – amid talk that Groves could now challenge Robert Stieglitz for the world title.

“If he does go on and fights Stieglitz then it won’t be nice and the public will judge him,” said Maree. “If he does then it is on his shoulders, he has to square that with the people who paid in advance for hotels and tickets.”

Of the postponement, Anderson said: “It is brutal because of all the effort we’ve put in.”