[Image credit: Super Sport]

Hard-talking Thulani Mbenge has launched a stunning attack on big fight rival Sebastian Formella.

He travels to Hamburg to defend his IBO Welterweight crown against Sebastian Formella on Saturday night in a clash of unbeaten boxers live on BoxNation.

It’s Mbenge’s first fight as a professional outside of South Africa, but he’s talking big, warning: “When it comes to power, I become too much for my opponents.

“Also when I switch, I become dangerous and hit the nose bone through their brains.”

Mbenge v Formella

Mbenge, 27, was surprisingly voted South African Boxer of the Year in 2018, beating their number one fighter Zolani Tete, IBO Cruiserweight Champ Kevin Lerena and fast-rising Azinga Fuzile.

In Boxrec’s South African pound-for-pound ratings only Tete and Lerena are ranked above him - which is no mean feat.

It’s no shock that the 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist can boast of his punch power with 12 of his 15 wins coming inside the distance.

When he last fought in December former IBF Lightweight Champion Miguel Vazquez quit after nine rounds. Vazquez fought in London last week and lost a disputed decision to Ohara Davies.

Being away from home makes it a tough assignment and despite shooting from the lip he’s under no illusions about his task.

“I am feeling great. It's been a good camp where we took our time. I am happy with what we have right now,” he told Independent Media.

It’s my first time as a pro outside of South Africa, but it will not shock my system because I fought overseas as an amateur.

“The fans must expect an explosive fight. I am feeling good, so I expect a positive result.”

Formella has won all 20 pro fights and is taking a huge risk against Mbenge, who is ranked 10 by the WBC and 15 by the IBF.