Opponent of boxer who died after brain injury admits to having 'suicidal thoughts'
'I just can't take it anymore'
The opponent of the South African boxer who passed away following a brain injury has admitted to having suicidal thoughts following abuse he has received.
Simiso Buthelezi died in hospital after suffering a brain injury during his title fight defeat in Durban on Sunday. The lightweight fighter looked to be seconds away from winning the WBF African lightweight title when the bout took a scary and unexpected turn.
🔴 Rest In Peace Simiso Buthelezi.. 🔴
Tragic news of our Boxing sensation....
Hamba kahle Shenge.
— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) June 8, 2022
Buthelezi is thought to have been comfortably beating opponent Siphesihle Mntungwa late in the 10th and final round when his opponent fell back through the ropes.
When Mntungwa eventually returned to his feet, Buthelezi seemed to completely lose his bearings. The South African appeared to bear down on the referee as if he was his target, before moving into the corner and start throwing fists as though he was shadow boxing.
Realising that his opponent wasn't in control of his actions, and with his back to the ring, Mntungwa chose not to advance. The referee quickly stepped in to end the fight a few seconds later - ending the bout with Buthelezi's safety clearly at risk.
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
Opponent says he is 'no longer safe'
After the referee stopped the fight, Mntungwa celebrated winning the title by performing Cristiano Ronaldo's infamous 'SIUUUU' celebration in the ring.
However, he has since revealed that he has struggled to deal with the abuse he's received on social media in recent days, with some people even labelling him a 'killer'.
"I came into heavy criticism and received insults on social media platforms when Simiso was hospitalised; it has taken another level now that he has passed away," he told Sowetan Live, as per the Daily Mail.
"I just can't take it anymore. One thing is left for me – I am going to kill myself. Even my neighbours have posted very ugly messages about me on social media. I am no longer safe.
"I did not kill Simiso; we may have been involved in a boxing fight but it was not a matter of life and death. All I wanted was to win the title, which maybe was going to help change my life and that of my family.
"I am the only one working at home, where I stay with my young brother, my aunt and her children. My mother died when I was four; my father is still alive but we don't stay with him.
"So, winning that title was going to help me financially. But people have branded me a killer. It could have been me.
"Without doubt Simiso's family is going through pain like any other family. Simiso has just graduated. Who knows his family may have even sold their cows to make sure he finished his studies. It is sad and very painful, but I did not go in that boxing with an intention to kill him."
Mntungwa will not attend the funeral
Mntungwa's trainer, Mmeli Mkhize, has also revealed that no one from the team will attend the funeral out of fear.
Boxing South Africa confirmed they will conduct an independent medical review of the injury before making the results public.
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