The boxing community has been rocked by the tragic death of Simiso Buthelezi after the South African fighter was captured in disturbing footage last week.
Buthelezi was fighting Siphesihle Mntungwa last weekend for the WBF African lightweight title when things took a confronting turn.
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After knocking down Mntungwa in the 10th round and being told by the referee to return to his corner, Buthelezi turned the wrong way and started throwing punches at nobody.
Buthelezi was clearly disorientated and appeared to think he was punching Mntungwa, but his opponent was behind him.
The referee immediately recognised that something was very wrong and called off the fight.
However things took a tragic twist on Wednesday night when Buthelezi died in hospital.
Buthelezi collapsed after the fight and was rushed to hospital, where he fell into a coma.
Boxing South Africa (BSA) then announced on Wednesday night that the fighter had died.
"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," BSA said in a statement.
“Towards the end of his bout, Mr Buthelezi collapsed and was taken to hospital and it was discovered that he suffered a brain injury which resulted in internal bleeding.
“At the hospital, Mr Buthelezi was given the best care possible but he succumbed to the injury.”
Buthelezi's trainer Bheki Mngomezulu said his fighter appeared in control throughout the bout and they weren't sure when he suffered the brain injury.
“I really can’t explain what happened, to be honest," the trainer said.
"It was bewildering, but in his training and in the build-up to the fight, there was nothing untoward with regards to his condition.
“He was in good nick before the fight.”
Boxing world mourns death of Simiso Buthelezi
Boxing South Africa also announced an investigation into the fight and Buthelezi's death.
"Boxing South Africa will conduct an independent medical review of the injury and will then make public the results of that medical review," they said.
"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 mouning the passing away of this great boxer who was exemplary both outside and inside the ring."
The undefeated boxer had recently graduated university with a degree in botany and zoology.
Boxer Simiso Buthelezi is dead after suffering a brain injury that caused him to start throwing punches at nothing. Watch the video to the end if you can handle it. Unbelievably sad. https://t.co/qwpW03XIIM
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) June 8, 2022
We are incredibly saddened by the passing of Simiso Buthelezi. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends during this tragic time.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 8, 2022
South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi has died in hospital after suffering a brain injury which caused him to throw punches at thin air during his fight (the video of which went viral) at the weekend.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) June 8, 2022
We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Simiso Buthelezi.
The South African boxer died in hospital after suffering a brain injury during his 10th-round defeat to Siphesihle Mntungwa on Sunday June 5 in Durban. pic.twitter.com/Iz763z1z04
— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) June 8, 2022
UPDATE : Very sad news....Boxing South Africa has confirmed that boxer Simiso Buthelezi did not make it. Condolences to his family, friends and Boxing club
. May his soul rest in peace. 🙏🏿 https://t.co/8oZjEnSVjN pic.twitter.com/hh93DETI54
— Tracksuit (@ThabisoMosia) June 8, 2022
🟥JUST IN🟥Boxer Simiso Buthelezi dies after been hospitalized. He was 'fighting invisible opponent' and punching thin air during defeat which went viral. pic.twitter.com/CMlhXbHGST
— Central News (@fscentralnews) June 8, 2022
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