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South African Boxer Dies After Punching Thin Air Instead Of Opponent During Fight

Boxer Simiso Buthelezi has died after being placed in a coma following a fight on Sunday (5th June).

The South African’s bout against Siphesihle Mntungwa was called off in the 10th round when Buthelezi began swinging at thin air.

He was subsequently placed in an induced coma but passed away on Tuesday.

joint statement issued by Boxing South Africa and the Buthelezi family read: “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 7 June 2022 at hospital in Durban.

“On 5 June 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.”

The statement continued: “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.

“Boxing South Africa and the Buthelezi family wishes to request members of the public and the media to give them space while mourning the passing away of this great boxer who was exemplary both outside and inside the ring.”

Buthelezi looked to be heading towards a decision victory at Greyville Convention Centre, maintaining his undefeated record of 4-0, after sending Mntungwa falling backwards through the ropes.

However, Buthelezi then began throwing punches in the direction of the referee, before swiping at thin air and slumping on the ropes.

The referee then called off the fight, handing Mntungwa the WBF African lightweight title – though the belt ceremony was postponed.

Featured Image Credit: SABC Sport

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