Simiso Buthelezi, a South African boxer, alarmed fight spectators over the weekend when. Seconds before the final bell, he turned aside and started hitting at an unidentified opponent.
Simiso Buthelezi, a South African boxer, was battling for his life following a terrifying event in which he started striking at an unseen opponent.
Buthelezi was on his way to earning the WBF African lightweight championship last Saturday after dominating Siphesihle Mntungwa over 10 rounds. However, things went horribly wrong.
Buthelezi started striking at the referee when Mntungwa fell over the ropes. With seconds remaining in the match, Simiso started heading to the corner and delivering strikes as though he was shadow boxing.
The fight was eventually interrupted, and Mntungwa was declared the winner. Buthelezi was sent to the hospital, where he is said to be in “critical but stable” condition.
Dr Buyi Mabaso-Dlamini told South African news portal Sowetan Live, “He is not in a good health condition at all. He is critical but stable.”
“We discovered that he bled on the brain and sadly his condition does not allow the doctors that are treating to operate at the moment due to the condition.”
Doctors are perplexed by the fact that Buthelezi was the one who was delivering the bigger shots throughout the competition. He was seconds away from winning a decision, but doctors believe he may have been injured before the match.
His health deteriorated when he got to the hospital, according to Dr. Mabaso-Dlamini. She feels they will need to “hope for a miracle.” Another theory is that he sustained an injury before to Sunday’s bout.
“It could be injuries building up all the years. His condition deteriorated when he was rushed to the hospital. But he was worse on his arrival at the hospital than when he left Greyville. We trust in God that a miracle can still happen.”
Buthelezi entered the ring unbeaten, with a 4-0 record. He was in command of the match until the incident. He lost his first game of the night, but it won’t matter as long as he survives his threatening injuries.
“I am still in shock; we did not anticipate this,” promoter Malinga told.
“As brutal as boxing can be but this is the last thing you expect. Everything was fine; no weight issues… basically no signs of anything to look into in that direction.
“We would have rushed him to Edington Hospital which is the closest to Greyville Convention Centre where I staged my tournament but it does [not] have the neurological [facilities].”
Buthelezi has since passed away. Regulatory body Boxing South Africa (BSA) broke the news in a joint statement with the Buthelezi’s family:
“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.”
His trainer said there were no warning signs heading into the match.
“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.”