By Chris Glover
Thulani "Evolution" Mbenge and his camp have revealed they regret their decision to fight Sebastian Formella in his backyard of Hamburg after the South African lost his IBO welterweight world title as he dropped a very close points decision to his German challenger.
Formella ended Mbenge's reign in what was his second defence of the world title the Mdantsane native won last year after defeating Diego Chaves on points at Emperors Palace in South Africa.
The scoring judges that included Jerom Lades from France, who scored the close affair 114-113 while Matteo Montella from Italy scored it 116-112‚ with American Roark Young scoring it 115-112 all in favour of the German, Formella. This resulted in Mbenge's first loss in the professional ranks whilst Formella became IBO world champion whilst also extending his undefeated streak.
A spokesperson for Mbenge's camp opened up on his the South African punchers first defeat in the professional ranks.
They stated, " Obviously we are very disappointed with the result and in hindsight‚ we should not have left our shores to defend our belt.
"I think it was an error to fight in Formell'a home town and in front of his home crowd‚ where he received great support for this big fight."
The German expedition was the first time Mbenge had travelled outside his native South Africa since his inception into the professional code in 2015. Mbenge's trainer Smith added his opinion into why the highly-rated former amateur standout suffered his first loss as a pro.
He said, "Thulani possibly started to feel the pressure from the crowd and the referee but I think Thulani won the fight but I don't think his performance was clinical.
"I think Thulani did enough to defend his belt and I am hoping we can get a rematch and he can become two-time world champion. I think that would be the right thing to do" said Smith‚ who has helped Mbenge to win numerous professional title prior to becoming world champion within 16 fights.
"It was a great learning experience and I believe that if we get the rematch that Mbenge will win that and win it in explosive style."