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Boxer Simiso Buthelezi Dies at Age 24 After Suffering Brain Injury During Fight

Adam WellsJune 8, 2022

Waleed Zain/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Boxer Simiso Buthelezi died on Tuesday at the age of 24 as the result of injuries suffered in a fight against Siphesihle Mntungwa on June 5.

Boxing South Africa and Buthelezi's family released a joint statement (h/t MMAFighting.com) announcing his death as the result of internal bleeding stemming from a brain injury.

"At the hospital Mr. Buthelezi was given the best care possible but he however succumbed to the injury last night as aforesaid," the statement said. "Boxing South Africa will conduct an independent medical review of the injury and will then make public the results of that medical review."

During the 10th round of the fight, Mntungwa fell through the ropes after being hit by Buthelezi.

After the referee gave Mntungwa time to stand up and compose himself to resume the bout, Buthelezi walked toward an empty corner of the ring and started throwing punches.

The referee waved off the bout at that point. Tim Boxeo of the Unprofessional Boxing Pod noted Buthelezi was removed from the ring under medical care.

Per ESPN's Lindsay du Plessis, Buthelezi was placed in a medically induced coma at the hospital in Durban, South Africa.

Dr. Buyi Mabaso-Dlamini, who was ringside for the fight, told Bongani Magasela of Sowetan Live on Tuesday that doctors "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."

Bheki Mngomezulu, Buthelezi's trainer, told reporters "there wasn't anything untoward in the fight and in training."

"I really can't explain what happened to be honest," Mngomezulu added. "It was bewildering, but in his training and in the build-up to the fight, there was nothing untoward with regards to his condition."

Buthelezi had five professional bouts in his boxing career. He had a 4-1 record with two knockouts.

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