Back sprain forces boxer Carl Froch’s Stepping Out exit

Boxing star Carl Froch has pulled out of ITV dance show Stepping Out after a back sprain.

He and partner Rachael Cordingley have both withdrawn from the programme which pits celebrity couples against each other on the dance floor.

The injury occurred as the muscled super-middleweight champ lifted Rachael during a live show on Saturday night and he has decided his boxing career comes first.

His withdrawal comes hours after he appeared at a press conference to promote his forthcoming fight against George Groves as he prepares to defend his WBA and IBF world belts on November 23.

An ITV spokesman said: “Whilst performing a lift during Saturday’s live Stepping Out, Carl Froch sprained his lower back. After subsequent consultations with his physiotherapist, he has reluctantly decided to leave the competition.”

Carl said: “I’m gutted that Rachael and I have to leave, but I have to put my boxing career first. We’ve both enjoyed every minute of Stepping Out and loved dancing and spending time with each other.

“Even though we won’t be competing on Saturday we will be in the studio cheering everyone on.”

Contestants were due to swap partners in this weekend’s heat. Brian McFadden will be paired with Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen, Oritse Williams will be with Vogue McFadden and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is to partner AJ Azari.