German contender Sebastian Formella relishes the opportunity he has in front of him in his U.S. debut as he prepares to face two-time welterweight champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a welterweight title eliminator headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, August 22 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“I have always said that I want to compete with the best,” said Formella. “Now I have the chance. Even though I’m coming from Germany and the U.S. fans aren’t as familiar with me, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win. I can’t wait to test myself against a welterweight superstar like Shawn Porter.”
For the 33-year-old Formella, challenges are nothing new. He debuted as a pro in 2014, already 26 years old, but quickly showed his mettle, winning a German middleweight title in just his sixth pro fight. After moving down into the welterweight division full time in 2018, he has reeled off five straight wins against opponents with a combined record of 95-8-1.
“Everyone who knows me, knows that I will face any opponent,” said Formella. “When my promoter called and offered me the fight, I immediately said yes – without knowing the details. I know what I can do and I’m willing to prove it against whoever is available. I am not a guy who gives up or avoids anything.”
Heading into this fight, Formella has been on a training camp world tour, participating in training camp in his native Germany, before two weeks of sparring in Istanbul. Eventually he arrived in the U.S., where he sparred with top welterweight Yordenis Ugas, who faced Porter in dropping a close title fight last March on FOX.
“One of the reasons this opportunity came at the right time is because I had been in training in Germany since June,” said Formella. “Since then, we had two weeks of sparring in Istanbul. We had rough conditions there and that made it all the better for training so I feel prepared for whatever is going to happen in the ring.
“One of the sparring partners in Istanbul was my promotional stablemate Volkan Gökcek. It was optimal work day in and day out. Once we got to the U.S., I sparred with Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas and I know that experience can only help me on fight night.”
Formella will have a tall task on fight night against the two-time 147-pound titlist Porter, who’s career resume is littered with big name opponents such as Errol Spence, Jr., Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, amongst many others. Porter is defined by his rough and tumble, all-action style that ensures nobody is in for any easy night against him.
“Porter makes a lot of pressure, he can bridge the distance very well with his fast movements and he is very strong on the inside,” said Formella. “You always have to be careful and concentrated. You must not let him drag you into his fighting style. We’ve analyzed Porter, and we know it’s going to be tough. But it’s boxing and the nice thing about our sport is that a lot of things can happen that you don’t expect. We have a tactic set up and I’m going to throw everything at him to get the win.”
In his corner, his promoter Erol Ceylan has drawn a direct line between Formella’s underdog status against Porter and Formella’s similar status when he triumphed over Thulani Mbenge, who had come into that fight off of victories over Miguel Vazquez and Diego Chaves.
“Nobody believed in Sebastian when he fought for the IBO title against Mbenge and he surprised everyone,” said Ceylan. “Sebastian is someone who grows with the strength of his opponents. You should not underestimate him and the strength of his will to win.”