South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi, who was hospitalized after a strange incident in which he appeared to lose his senses during a match over the weekend, has died at the age of 24, Boxing South Africa confirmed in a joint statement with the boxer’s family Wednesday obtained by MMA Junkie.
The statement confirmed Buthelezi was in a medically-induced coma at the time of his death.
The Twitter account for the boxing podcast Tim Boxeo shared the footage which showed the previously undefeated Buthelezi connect with several punches as his opponent, Siphesihle Mntungwa (7-1-2) fell through the ropes before the two men are separate by the referee during the 10th and final round of the match.
Mntungwa returns to his feet and men square off before Buthelezi appears to walk in the referee’s direction — which shows a glaring light facing the camera — and punches at the air before the official calls the fight in favor of Mntungwa.
“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,” the account posted.
Buthelezi was projected to win by a 10-round decision, but was instead removed from the ring and received immediate medical care from first responders, while the World Boxing Federation postponed Mntungwa’s belt ceremony.
The Tim Boxeo account had previously shared an update claiming Buthelezi was reported to be in stable condition and more information was expected to be revealed in the coming days, however, had later deleted the post.
“I know many are interested in Mr Buthelezi’s condition, as am I, as we all continue to pray for his recovery,” the account shared in a separate post. “I am not the right person to share news on his medical situation. I’ll be patient and allow those close to Buthelezi share confirmed & official updates when appropriate.”