Super middleweight George Groves returns to action for a Sept. 20 WBC eliminator bout against Christopher Rebrasse at Wembley Arena in London, Sauerland Events announced on Tuesday.
Groves (19-2, 15 knockouts) suffered back-to-back losses in the ninth and eighth rounds to IBF titleholder Carl Froch in his past two fights in November and May, respectively.
"It is great to be back here in Wembley and back to world-class boxing. Last time I was here, it didn’t go the way I had hoped but I showed that I belong at the top level. In boxing, sometimes all it takes is one punch and it took just one punch to derail my world title ambitions in May," said Groves, 26, who fought Froch at Wembley in their return bout.
"But we are back on the road and the journey will continue on Sept. 20 at the SSE Arena in Wembley. This is a perfect fight for me. Rebrasse is a good opponent with a good record. Win this fight and I am back in the picture that is vitally important. I can't wait to be world champion, and it will happen in the near future. It is good to be back in boxing and back in at the deep end."
Rebrasse (22-2-3, 6 KOs), 28, is 6-0-2 with two knockouts in his past eight bouts and is coming off a fourth-round stopapge of Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye in March. Rebrasse has not lost since March 2011 via unanimous decision to unbeaten Rachid Jkitou of France.
"A ring is a ring whether you are in England or France," said Rebrasse. "It may be a risk coming to England but it is a risk I am willing to take. I am looking forward to this fight. We will see what happens on Sept. 20."
IBF LIGHTWEIGHT ELIMINATOR BOASTS DENIS SHAFIKOV VS. RUSTAM NUGAEV
Russian lightweights Denis Shafikov and Rustam Nugaev will meet in an August 15 IBF eliminator bout for the right to face titleholder Miguel Vazquez, promoter Gary Shaw informed RingTV.com on Tuesday.
Shafikov (33-1-1, 18 KOs), 29, was, in fact, last in action falling to Vazquez (34-3, 13 KOs) in February.
"They're fighting and the winner will be the mandatory to fight Vazquez. Shafikov just lost to Vazquez," said IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker, "but he lost by a decision and we went deep into the ratings before we got to Shafikov and everybody in front of him was either unavailable or they turned it down."
Against Shafikov, Nugaev (27-6-1, 17 KOs), 31, will be after his seventh straight win and his sixth consecutive knockout victory, having last suffered defeat by unanimous decision against Alisher Rahimov in March 2011. In his last fight in March, Nugaev stopped former title challenger Marvin Quintero in the fourth round.
A recent signee with powerful advisor Al Haymon, Vazquez, 27, has made six successful defenses of his belt and won 13 consecutive fights, three by knockout.
THE RING's number one-rated 135-pounder, Vazquez, has not suffered defeat since falling by unanimous decision to current junior middleweight Saul Alvarez in June 2008.
JIMMY'S BOXING OUT-BIDS GOLDEN BOY FOR AMNAT RUENROENG-MCWILLIAMS ARROYO FIGHT
Jimmy's Boxing, of Bangkok, Thailand, out-bid Golden Boy Promotions for the right to handle the flyweight fight between titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng and McWilliams Arroyo and has "90 days to put the fight on," IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker informed RingTV.com on Tuesday.
"There was a purse bid in the IBF office today for the IBF flyweight championship between champion Amnat Ruenroeng and McWilliams Arroyo," stated Tucker in an email to RingTV.com. "Jimmys Boxing bid $202,000.00 and Golden Boy Promotions bid $70,150.00. The split is 75 percent to Ruenroeng and 25 percent to Arroyo."
The RING's number seven-rated 112-pounder, Ruenroeng, 34, of Thailand, is 13-0 with five knockouts, having last been in action for a split decision victory over Kazuto Ioka in May. Arroyo, 28, of Puerto Rico, is 15-1 with 13 knockouts.
DEMETRIUS ANDRADE TO SUPPORT VLADINE BIOSSE VS. CALLUM SMITH
WBO junior middleweight titleholder Demetrius Andrade is traveling to Britain to watch stablemate Vladine Biosse (15-3-2, 7 KOs) pull the upset over super middleweight rival Callum Smith (11-0, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, according to a press release.
Andrade, 26, is coming off last month's seventh-round knockout of England's Brian Rose, for whom he said Biosse helped him to prepare.
"Vladine is coming to Liverpool to put on a great show on Saturday night," said Andrade, whose father, Paul, trains both Demetrius and Biosse, 32. "He trained with me as I prepared for Brian Rose and he is in the best shape of his career and he is coming to win. I look forward to seeing the great boxing fans of England."
Smith, 24, will be after his 10th straight knockout win when he faces Biosse, who was stopped in the 10th round of his last fight by J'Leon Love in February.
"I have seen footage of Vladine and he is a good fighter and a real step up for me. He has been around and only lost three times in 20 fights and that was to very good opposition," said Smith, who stopped Tobias Webb in the second round of his last fight in May.
"J'Leon Love beat him in his last fight in the 10th round, so it does look like a fight where I can get rounds in and he is experienced and will come to win. It is another good fight and I think it is a good fight that [promoter] Eddie [Hearn of Matchroom Sport] has picked for my career, a good step up and one I feel that I am ready for."
Smith-Biosse will support a cruiserweight main event featuring ex-light heavyweight title challenger Tony Bellew against Julio Cesar Cos Santos and a co-feature involving former 175-pound titleholder Nathan Cleverly opposite Alejandro Valori.
CRUISERWEIGHT JUNIOR WRIGHT SIGNS WITH STAR OF DAVID PROMOTIONS
Cruiserweight Junior Wright (10-0-1, 9 KOs) has signed a promotional deal with Star of David Promotions, which is run by Dmitriy Salita.