Former light heavyweight titleholder Juergen Braehmer, who has not boxed as a super middleweight since 2007, will move down one weight division and be part of the World Boxing Super Series tournament at 168 pounds, organizers have announced.
Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs), a 38-year-old southpaw from Germany, lost his secondary 175-pound world title by sixth-round knockout to Nathan Cleverly in his last fight in October and had the contractual right to a rematch. However, he apparently has passed on that and instead will move down in weight to compete in the eight-man, single-elimination tournament.
"I am looking forward to the tournament," said Braehmer, a two-time light heavyweight world titleholder. "I am prepared. The change of the weight class is not a challenge for me. I have made more than 30 professionals fights at super middleweight and will now return to my original weight class. I am curious who my opponents will be."
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 Saturday 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.
Braehmer joins a super middleweight field that so far also includes world titleholder George Groves (26-3, 19 KOs), of England, Sweden's Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) and England's Jamie Cox (23-0, 12 KOs). The final four participants will be unveiled this week.
"Braehmer is one of the most accomplished fighters around," Schaefer said. "His record of 48 wins with just three losses speaks for itself. The youngsters better watch out for him."
Six of the cruiserweight field participants have already been announced and they are a who's who of 200-pound weight class, including four of the world titleholders, Oleksandr Usyk (12-0, 10 KOs), Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) and Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs), along with former titleholders Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs) and Marco Huck (40-4-1, 27 KOs). The other two will also be announced this week.