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Boxer Simiso Buthelezi dies at 24 from brain bleed days after title fight

Matt Johnson
Simiso Buthelezi
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi has died days after suffering a brain injury during a WBF All Africa title fight over the weekend in Durban, South Africa.

Buthelezi was engaged in a bought with Siphesihle Mntungwa, taking it to the closing minute of the 10th round for the WBA Africa lightweight title. After seemingly not sustaining a blow for most of the round, Buthelezi backed Mntungwa near the corner.

After Mntungwa slipped, the referee directed Buthelezi away from the corner. Seconds later, Buthelezi turned away from Mntungwa and then moved toward the ref. When the referee backed away, Buthelezi seemingly threw ghost punches at the corner post.

Referee Elroy Marshall immediately waived off the flight, instructing for medical assistance on the scene immediately.

Buthelezi, a university graduate, was transported to the ICU and placed into a coma on Sunday night at King Edward VIII Hospital in South Africa. Doctors found bleeding on his brain, with updates on Tuesday that Buthelezi was critical but stable. Unfortunately, he has since passed away.

TMZ Sports reported Wednesday that Buthelezi passed away just days after being hospitalized following the boxing tournament in Greyville, Durban. Boxing South Africa confirmed the news in a statement.

“The Buthelezi family and Boxing South Africa acknowledges warm words of condolences of the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture.”

Boxing South Africa on the death of Simiso Buthelezi

It remains undetermined exactly when Buthelezi suffered the brain injury as observers of the fight said he was in firm control throughout the bout, sustaining minimal hits.

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Sportsnaut extends its condolences to Buthelezi’s friends, family and the boxing community.