THE BOXER whose opponent died after a fight has revealed the mass abuse he has subsequently received.
South African lightweight Simiso Buthelezi, who was just 24, took on Siphesihle Mntungwa in Durban last Sunday.
He lost the contest in the 10th and final round when the referee waved it off after he turned away from his opponent and began swinging at the air – just seconds after knocking Mntungwa down.
The clip, which shows Buthelezi receive a stiff jab to the chin before sending Mntungwa down, went viral on social media.
But the story took a heartbreaking turn when it was confirmed he passed away after slipping into a coma.
Mntungwa has now received backlash from harsh trolls which he says has left him suicidal.
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He told Sowetan Live: “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.
“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 [with a degree in botany and zoology].
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“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.”