Mbenge fighting wrong - Tlhoaele

Jerry Tlhoaele.
Jerry Tlhoaele.
Image: Gallo Images / Duif du Toit

Thulani Mbenge lost his IBO welterweight boxing title fair and square to Sebastian Formula in Germany two weekends ago - says retired professional boxer Jerry Tlhoaele.

This is contrary to the popular belief by South Africans that Mbenge did enough to retain his belt which he lost on unanimous points.

Tlhoaele from Tembisa, who retired in 2010 with a single win against seven losses, wrote: "Thulani lost fair and square and he defeated himself. I always knew that there was something wrong with this young man but I couldn't come to grips with it but on that evening I witnessed it all.

"He is fighting the wrong way. I will give you few reasons why I say so and you can judge for yourself. He doesn't know how to gauge a distance, he gets too close to his shorter opponents and that alone takes away his reach advantage.

"He doesn't use his long arms to his advantage, he has to throw punches from a correct distance. He doesn't punch correctly, especially when he throws a straight right hand, he follows the punch and he crouches a lot.

"I used to respect Shawn Smith as a wonderful and good trainer but from what I witnessed, I'm now in big doubt."

In a follow-up interview, Tlhoaele said: "Sean should have seen that Mbenge fights wrong. I am not sure if Sean tells him to stop doing that or Mbenge does not listen. Mbenge must stop rating his power; he thinks he hits hard and I don't think so or he does hit hard but he punches the wrong way. Thulani has talent, got height and can move."

Smith said: "When a fighter wins, the fighter is great but when he loses, the coach is a problem. Thulani did not look great. Many things came into play before this fight. We did not see Formela as a threat . For me Thulani underestimated Formela but I still think Thulani won the fight. The bigger and heavy punches were thrown by Thulani. This loss will make Thulani a better fighter in the future."

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