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Simiso Buthelezi -Rest in Peace


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Boxer who punched invisible opponent dies after suffering brain injury





South African fighter Simiso Buthelezi competed in a fight for the African lightweight title on Sunday, and seconds from the final bell appeared to start punching at thin air in the corner


The fighter was rushed to hospital after the referee called off his fight with Siphesihle Mntungwa in Greyville on Saturday, where doctors had told media it would take a miracle for him to survive. He had suffered brain bleeding and had difficulties getting an operation from doctors at King Edward Hospital in Durban.


And Boxing South Africa have released a statement about Buthelezi's passing, which was co-signed by the boxer's family. It reads: "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.



"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.


"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."


Doctors were confused by the incident as it was Buthelezi who was landing the heavier shots throughout the contest. He was seconds away from comfortably winning a decision, but doctors fear that he may have gone into the fight with an injury.


He had even sent his opponent Mntungwa through the ropes, and having held a 4-0 record going into the fight was on his way to winning his first title as a professional. Video of the incident went viral on social media with fans sharing their messages of support for the young fighter.


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RIP. As I was reading I was thinking the same thing - the possibility of a pre-existing.injury. Sadly it's only tragic outcomes that motivate boxing commissions to employ more robust pre-fight exam protocols. The commission and promoter must be scrutinized closely to ensure a proper investigation where they're not merely covering their own asses.
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