A pair of undefeated but untested super middleweights joined the field for the World Boxing Super Series tournament on Wednesday.
Sweden's Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) and Jamie Cox (22-0, 12 KOs), of England, became the second and third fighters to enter the eight-man single-elimination tournament that also includes England's George Groves, who holds one of the 168-pound world titles.
"It takes a lot of heart and courage to sign up for the World Boxing Super Series. The quality of their competitors will be beyond anything they have ever experienced in their young careers, but their undefeated record tells us they are ready to take on the world's best fighters," promoter Kalle Sauerland said.
Skoglund, 26, does not have a big résumé, with his most notable victory coming by 10-round decision in 2014 against faded former light heavyweight world champion Glen Johnson. But he is eager to step up his competition level in the tournament.
"It's unbelievable to be fighting for the greatest prize in boxing, the Muhammad Ali Trophy," Skoglund said. "I can't describe how excited I am. I am eager to prove myself in the first season of the greatest tournament ever. Joining the World Boxing Super Series means the world to me. We can expect a lot of great boxing and I can't wait to prove myself against the best fighters out there."
Cox, 30, is the former Commonwealth junior middleweight champion but also has a thin résumé, so he figures to be tested mightily in the World Boxing Super Series.
"I'm excited to be joining the World Boxing Super Series," Cox said. "This is great opportunity. I've never shied away from a challenge and I'm looking forward to testing myself against the top names in the division. I think the tournament format will suit me well, and this will be a chance for me to show everybody what level I'm at. I know I'm capable of winning. I'm ready to show the world what I'm all about.
"Maybe people will see me as the dark horse of the tournament. If that's the case, I'm ready to cause a shock. I train very hard and I've done it in the gym before with top champions and now I've got the platform to do it on the world stage. Maybe they might take their eye off the prize when it comes to me. More fool them if they do because I'll be training for every single fight like it is the final."
Cox is scheduled for a tune-up fight on promoter Eddie Hearn's card on Saturday in London before the tournament kicks off in the fall.
"This is a great opportunity for Jamie to announce himself on the world stage and he shouldn't be underestimated in this tournament," Hearn said. "He will box on our show in London this Saturday to warm up for the series and will bring plenty of excitement and power."
In March, Comosa AG announced plans for two eight-man single-elimination tournaments in which 16 fighters will divvy up the $50 million prize money, with the winner of each tournament also receiving the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Comosa AG enlisted promoters Richard Schaefer and Sauerland to promote the cards and decided that the first two tournaments will take place in the cruiserweight and super middleweight divisions.
The tournaments are supposed to kick off in September with quarterfinal matches in each weight class, with the semifinals taking place in early 2018 and the finals scheduled for May 2018. The draw for each tournament will take place on July 8 in Monte Carlo with the top four seeds (which are to be determined) in each field selecting their quarterfinal opponent from the remaining unseeded fighters.