- South Africa’s Simiso Buthelezi was announced dead after suffering a brain injury during a title fight that went viral
- More updates about the cause of Buthelezi’s death are expected to be publicized soon
Simiso Buthelezi’s title fight against Siphesihle Mntungwa has gone viral on all social media platforms not because of the fight itself, but because the former suddenly started hitting a seemingly invisible opponent despite winning the bout.
It was later reported that Buthelezi has been taken to the hospital ASAP. However, it was confirmed Tuesday that he had already died.
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
Regulatory body Boxing South Africa (BSA) broke the heartbreaking news in a joint statement with the Buthelezi’s family on social media Wednesday.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
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
A brain injury
Buthelezi was reportedly in a medically-induced coma prior to his demise. Scans later revealed that the 24-year-old had suffered internal bleeding from a brain injury.
However, Buthelezi’s trainer Bheki Mngomezulu said they did not notice anything alarming about his pupil until the viral incident occurred on Sunday at the WBF All Africa title bout.
“There wasn’t anything untoward in the fight and in training,” Mngomezulu told News24. “He was leading the fight on points before the unfortunate incident occurred. 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.”
BSA stated that the public will be informed with further details about Buthelezi’s sudden death once they get an update from the independent medical review that will happen soon.