Boxer who ‘didn’t know where he was’ hospitalised after punching invisible rival

Chilling footage has emerged of a South African boxer punching at thin air in the final round of his latest fight – even though he was seconds away from winning the vacant WBF African lightweight title.

Simiso Buthelezi appeared to be in control against Siphesihle Mntungwa, but after his opponent fell through the ropes Buthelezi seemed to completely lose his bearings.

Inexplicably, the turned and started chasing the referee, and when the official stepped aside the groggy fighter started swinging punches towards the corner of the ring. Confused, Mntungwa opted not to advance and the referee immediately called the fight off as Buthelezi clearly wasn't in a fit state to continue.

The South African commentator describing the worrying scenes said during the broadcast: "He turns, then looks at the referee, carrying on like he wants to fight.

"Yet throwing punches, he doesn't know where he is."

To rub salt into the wounds, Mntungwa celebrated his sudden victory by leaping across the ring and mimicking Cristiano Ronaldo's 'SUI' celebration.

Immediately after the match Buthelezi was rushed to hospital in the South African city of Durban and after being monitored for several hours and undergoing a series of tests doctors declared his condition stable.

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Frustratingly for Buthelezi, he was almost certainly headed for a points victory before his moment of madness brought the fight to an abrupt end in the 10th round, but defeat is a small price to pay considering the damage that could have been done had he been allowed to continue.

Precisely what happened to him remains a bit of a mystery. Some fans on social media suggested that the episode could have been caused by heat exhaustion, though the fact that it's winter in South Africa at the moment raises doubts such an explanation, while others suggested that concussion might have been the cause.

The defeat Simiso Buthelezi's first in his career, while Mntungwa got his seventh win and was crowned champion, although out of respect for Buthelezi's condition at the time, the ceremony was postponed.

On social media, fans offered messages of concern and support for the stricken fighter.

"I hope he's OK. This is scary stuff," one person tweeted.

"This is the saddest thing to see in boxing," another posted, while a third wrote: "Tragic. Boxing needs to sort this out and not let this happen again."

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