South African boxer dies two days after filmed swinging at thin air

South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi dies in hospital at 24, just two days after he was filmed completely disoriented and swinging at thin air during a title fight

  • Simiso Buthelezi swung punches into thin air during a recent title fight
  • The distressing moment saw the referee step in and wave off the contest
  • But two days later, a Boxing South Africa statement has confirmed his death 

South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi has died at the age of 24, two days after he was filmed disorientated and swinging into thin air during a title fight on Sunday.

He was receiving medical treatment after his WBF African lightweight title fight against Siphesihle Mntungwa was waved off in the final seconds of the last round.

Buthelezi was seemingly cruising towards victory and had his opponent in deep trouble when he sent him through the ropes with a blistering combination.

Mntungwa bravely fought on but as he returned to his feet, the fight took a worrying turn for the worst, as Buthelezi moved his focus away from his rival and started moving towards the corner of the ring, throwing punches into empty space.

A shocked Mntungwa appeared hesitant to pounce on Buthelezi and the referee was quick to recognise the potential danger that could follow, stepping in to stop the contest in dramatic circumstances.

Buthelezi was later confirmed to be receiving medical attention in Durban but on Tuesday night, he passed away.

South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi has died at the age of 24, just two days after completely losing his bearings in a fight and attacking thin air 

Simiso Buthelezi was cruising towards a victory and knocked his opponent through the ropes

However, the fight took a dramatic turn when Siphesihle Mntungwa returned to his feet

‘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.’ 

Buthelezi wandered over to the corner of the ring and appeared to lose his orientation

He started throwing punches at thin air, forcing the referee to step in and stop the contest

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.

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