South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi has died in hospital after suffering a frightening brain injury during his weekend fight in Durban.
The 24-year-old fought Siphesihle Mntungwa on Sunday and appeared in control of the contest until the 10th round.
Replays showed Buthelezi had taken a stiff jab to the chin which forced him to briefly slump face-first against the ropes.
There were disturbing scenes as the action got back underway, with Buthelezi turning away from his opponent as he began swinging punches into thin air as if fighting an invisible opponent.
With the contest waved off, Buthelezi was taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma with reports claiming he had suffered brain bleeding.
But in a tragic development, South African boxing authorities have now confirmed he has passed away.
‘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,’ read a joint statement.
‘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.’
According to reports in South Africa, Buthelezi was a very recent university graduate in botany and zoology. He had won his all four of his previous fights before Sunday.