Simiso Buthelezi has died following injuries sustained during a recent bout that produced a shocking viral video clip.
(Warning: Post contains footage that may be disturbing to some viewers)
This past Sunday, South African boxer Buthelezi was involved in a WBF African Lightweight title fight in Durban, South Africa, against opponent Siphesihle Mntungwa. In the final frame of the 10-round affair, Buthelezi was caught by a hard jab from Mntungwa, who tumbled out through the ropes as Buthelezi advanced. The referee called for a pause in the action, but when the bout resumed, a visibly disoriented Buthelezi strayed from his opponent towards one of the corners and began to throw punches at air.
See the footage here:
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
The referee immediately called for a stoppage, resulting in a 10th-round TKO victory for Mntungwa. ESPN later reported that Buthelezi was placed in an induced coma.
On Wednesday, Boxing South Africa released a joint statement with Buthelezi’s family announcing that Buthelezi died Tuesday evening due to a brain injury which resulted in internal bleeding.
An independent medical review of Buthelezi’s injury will be conducted, per the statement, which can be read below:
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 the 7th June 2022 at hospital in Durban.
On the 5th June 2022 Mr. Buthelezi participated in a Boxing Tournament hosted by Starline Boxing Promotions in Greyville, Durban.
Towards the end of the bout, Mr. Buthelezi collapsed and was taken to a 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. 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.
Following the initial incident on Sunday, Buthelezi’s trainer Bheki Mngomezulu told News24 that he was at a loss to explain what might have happened to his fighter.
“There wasn’t anything untoward in the fight and in training. He was leading the fight on points before the unfortunate incident occurred,” Mngomezulu said. “I really can’t explain what happened to be honest.
“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.”
Buthelezi was 24 years old.