South African boxer, Simiso Buthelezi, has died at the age of 24, two days after he was filmed disorientated and swinging into thin air while turning his back at his opponent during a title fight on Sunday, June 5,
The fight was between Buthelezi and his opponent, Siphesihle Mntungwa in a WBF African lightweight title fight when he became disorientated in the final seconds of the last round.
Buthelezi was just close to victory as he had his opponent through the ropes before losing understanding of the fight. The quick-thinking referee had to end the fight after he noticed something was wrong.
Buthelezi died on Tuesday night, June 7 while receiving medical attention in Durban.
‘It is with great sadness for Boxing South Africa and the Buthelezi family to announce the passing away of Mr. Simiso Buthelezi who passed away last night, June 7, 2022 at hospital in Durban.’ a statement read.
‘On June 5, 2022, Mr Buthelezi participated in a boxing tournament hosted by Starline Boxing Promotions at Greyville, Durban.
‘Towards the end of his bout, Mr Buthelezi collapsed and was taken to hospital and it was discovered at the hospital that he suffered a brain injury which resulted in internal bleeding.
‘At the hospital Mr. Buthelezi was given the best care possible but he however succumbed to the injury last night as aforesaid. Boxing South Africa will conduct an independent medical review of the injury and will then make public the results of that medical review.
‘The Buthelezi family and Boxing South Africa acknowledges warm words of condolences of the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. The Buthelezi family and Boxing South Africa will in due course make announcement on funeral arrangements.’
Very scary in South Africa please 🙏🏼 for Simiso Buthelezi (4-1). At 2:43 of the 10th & final round, Siphesihle Mntungwa (7-1-2) falls through the ropes but then Buthelezi appears to lose his understanding of the present situation. Mntungwa takes the WBF African lightweight title pic.twitter.com/YhfCI623LB
— Tim Boxeo (@TimBoxeo) June 5, 2022
His trainer had on Monday visited Buthelezi in hospital and said: ‘There’s no change in his condition, he’s in a coma, he’s not talking, moving or doing anything right now. The doctors say there could be a blood clot on the brain due to a blow to the head.’
Boxing commentator Tim Boxeo posted on Twitter that Buthelezi was ‘almost certainly’ on track to secure a decision victory in his fifth professional bout before the late twist.
Buthelezi had an undefeated professional record of 4-0 before his clash at the Greyville Convention Centre last weekend.