The World Boxing Federation
lightweight title fight held in
Durban, South Africa on Sunday (June
5) culminated in a somber and
Two young, talented fighters with
the world at their feet, Siphesihle
Mntungwa (6-1) and the huge prospect
Simiso Buthelezi (4-0) thrilled the
large crowd with 9 exciting rounds
of boxing with Buthelezi one round
away from winning the title, albeit
in a close fight.
Then the bizarre happened with
twenty seconds left in the final
round. Buthelezi inexplicably turned
away from his opponent, walked
strangely towards his corner and
started to throw wild combinations
at an invisible foe. Clearly
something was not right.
Referee Elroy Marshall responded
brilliantly by immediately halting
the fight in favor of Mntungwa.
Buthelezi then began to have
convulsions, and immediately the
doctors, medics and other staff were
in the ring administering medical
President Howard Goldberg advised
the announcer that while Mntungwa
was the official winner, that no
belt awarding ceremony would take
place given the sensitivity of the
situation. Mntungwa was later given
the belt in the dressing room and
advised as such.
Buthelezi was rushed in an ambulance
to the King Edward Hospitalís
neurological ward. It was later
found that he had a bleed on the
brain, and was placed in an induced
coma, and he remains in a critical
remains in our prayers and thoughts
and we hope that he will make a
healthy recovery over what will be a
difficult few weeks ahead.
What transpired affected many people
at the event, many of whom were in
tears. Elroy Marshall did a superb
job, as did the entire team of
doctors and medics who were present.
Promoter Zandile Malinga did
everything one hundred percent
correctly with regards to medical
protocols and procedures for the
Boxing is a tough and brutal sport.
It is in our blood and we live for
the sport. Sadly these things happen
and no-one knows why.
well educated Buthelezi made weight
at the first attempt, passed all his
medicals without any issues and took
very little punishment in the fight.
continue to monitor Simisoís
condition and he is in our thoughts