During the 10th and final round of the World Boxing Federation All Africa lightweight bout between Simiso Buthelezi and Siphesihle Mntungwa, Buthelezi appeared to have the upper hand.
He had knocked Mntungwa up against the ropes and landed a number of blows, and victory seemed all but assured.
However, as Buthelezi prepared to land the finishing blows, reports The Citizen, he totally lost his bearings and appeared ready to box the referee.
He then headed for the corner to fight an imaginary opponent before the referee decided to call it:
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 pic.twitter.com/YhfCI623LB
— Tim Boxeo (@TimBoxeo) June 5, 2022
It was Buthelezi who landed the majority of the punches throughout the fight, without being on the receiving end of any heavy blows.
Boxeo said Buthelezi was removed from the ring under immediate medical care and the WBF decided to postpone the belt ceremony for Mntungwa.
Reporting this morning via The Sowetan quotes doctor Buyi Mabaso-Dlamini as saying that Buthelezi is fighting for his life at King Edward Hospital in Durban:
“He is not in a good health condition at all; he is critical but stable,” she said yesterday. “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.”
…“Another suspicion is that he may have suffered an injury before Sunday’s fight,” said Mabaso, who was ringside at Greyville Convention Centre where Buthlezi and Mntungwa fought for the vacant WBF All Africa lightweight title.
“It could be injuries building up all the years. His condition deteriorated when he was rushed to the hospital,” said Mabaso. “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.”
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in South Africa.
In 1984, Jacob “Killer” Molefe also started swinging at thin air in the fifth round of his bout against Richard Smith. It was later found that he had bleeding on the brain and he never fought again.
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