Boxer filmed throwing punches at no-one in viral footage has died after suffering brain damage

Boxing South Africa have committed to a medical review of the shocking incident

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South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi has passed away after punching thin air in harrowing footage that went viral.

Buthelezi fought in a 10-round World Boxing Federation All Africa lightweight fight against compatriot Siphesihle Mntungwa on Sunday, but the contest was stopped by the referee when he appeared to fight an invisible opponent.

He was rushed to hospital after the referee stopped the fight.

The referee was quick to put a halt to the fight as Buthelezi began shadow boxing.
The referee was quick to put a halt to the fight as Buthelezi began shadow boxing.

Buthelezi had suffered brain bleeding and struggled in getting an operation at King Edward Hospital in Durban.

Boxing South Africa have issued a statement regarding the fighter's passing, which has been co-signed by his family. It reads: "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 June 7 2022 at hospital in Durban.

Buthelezi had sent his opponent into the ropes earlier in the fight.
Buthelezi had sent his opponent into the ropes earlier in the fight.

"On June 5 2022, Mr Buthelezi participated in a boxing tournament hosted by Starline Boxing Promotions at Greyville, Durban. Towards the end of his bout, Mr Buthelezi collapsed and was taken to hospital and it was discovered at the hospital that he suffered a brain injury which resulted in internal bleeding.

"At the hospital Mr. Buthelezi was given the best care possible but he however succumbed to the injury last night as aforesaid. 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."

Doctors fear he may have gone into the fight with an injury already present, as he was comfortably winning the bout and landing the heavier blows before the stoppage.