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06th Jun 2022

Boxer taken to hospital after punching invisible opponent during title fight

Daniel Brown

Boxer punching invisible opponent

Really worrying scenes in South Africa

South African boxer Simiso Buthelezi was taken to hospital and received medical treatment after worryingly punching thin air in the final round of his latest fight.

The lightweight fighter looked to be seconds away from winning the WBF African lightweight title when the bout took a scary and unexpected turn.

According to reports, 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.

Buthelezi was “almost certainly” on track for a decision victory

Boxing enthusiast Tim Boxeo wrote on Twitter that Buthelezi was “almost certainly” on course to win the fight before the unexpected stoppage.

He later clarified the fighter was in a “stable condition” and being monitored after receiving medical care in Durban.

Buthelezi arrived at the Greyville Convention Centre with a 4-0 record, but left having suffered his first defeat. However, considering his worrying episode in the middle of the ring, that is likely to be considered a small price for the fighter.

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