Liam Walsh withdraws after accident

Liam Walsh withdrew from his lightweight world title challenge against Ricky Burns after he was involved in a car accident earlier this week, promoter Frank Warren announced on Friday.

The fight was scheduled for Dec. 15 in London.

Walsh, 26, of England, suffered a back injury in the crash and is unfit to fight. Walsh was told to rest and not to resume training for a month.

Burns (35-2, 10 KOs), 29, of Scotland, will still headline the Dec. 15 card at the Excel Arena and will make his third title defense against an opponent Warren said he will announce shortly.

"I'm devastated at the moment that I'm not going to be challenging Burns for the world title," Walsh said. "I have followed the advice of the doctors and withdrawn from the fight. The doctors have said hopefully I'll be able to resume training in four weeks. To fight for the world is my dream and this is just a setback and hope that I can get the opportunity to fight Burns again. I wish Burns all the best in his title defense and all the other lads on the show."

Walsh (13-0, 10 KOs), the Commonwealth junior lightweight champion, would have been taking a major step up in competition against Burns.

The rest of the card remains intact, including the co-feature, which matches Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves (15-0, 12 KOs), 24, of England, in a defense against former light heavyweight world champion Glen Johnson (51-17-2, 35 KOs), 43, a Miami-based native of Jamaica who is ending a brief retirement.