In 2017, Rob Brant was in position as a mandatory challenger in the middleweight division, but with the shot at a title still a ways off, he took a big gamble.
Brant accepted an offer to enter the World Boxing Super Series eight-man super middleweight tournament. He moved up in weight and lost his quarterfinal match, getting soundly outpointed by former light heavyweight world titlist Juergen Braehmer, who had dropped down in weight for the tournament, on Oct. 27 in Braehmer's town of Schwerin, Germany.
Now Brant will try to put that debacle behind him.
Brant is returning to the middleweight division and will make his return on March 9 at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota, in the main event of promoter Greg Cohen's card, Cohen told ESPN on Monday.
Brant (22-1, 15 KOs), 27, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is scheduled to face Colby Courter (12-11, 9 KOs), 31, of St. Joseph, Missouri, in an eight-round bout.
"We took a chance going into the tournament," Cohen said. "Rob only moved up in weight for the opportunity. Remember, he was a mandatory challenger at middleweight. He has no problem making 160 pounds. He only went up for the great opportunity the tournament provided. There was tremendous financial upside. It just didn't work out for him.
"Even if Rob had won the tournament he planned to go back to middleweight. That was always the plan. He's a middleweight and it won't be too long until he gets his chance to fight for a world title there."
Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) is into the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series, where he will face Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs), of England, on Feb. 24 in Nuremburg, Germany. The winner will face whomever emerges from the fight between world titleholder George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and British countryman Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs). Groves defends his 168-pound belt against Eubank on Saturday at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.