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4 Nov, 2021 17:43

Inquest on safety standards of Zimbabwean boxing expected as 24-year-old fighter tragically dies after in-ring collapse

Inquest on safety standards of Zimbabwean boxing expected as 24-year-old fighter tragically dies after in-ring collapse

Serious questions are expected to be asked of Zimbabwean boxing authorities after the death of highly-rated Taurai Zimunya, 24, shortly after he collapsed during a professional bout in the capital, Harare.

Zimunya – whose father, Samson, was an acclaimed amateur boxer – died shortly after he was knocked out in the third round of a six-round fight in what was the first time a boxer has died in the African country as a result of injuries sustained in a boxing match. 

The shocking scene unfolded when Zimunya was knocked to the canvas midway through the fight by his opponent Tinashe Majoni, with ringside reports saying that Zimunya received a barrage of undefended blows to the head, with the referee not stepping in until he was knocked down.

The boxer was then treated by ringside medics but passed away without regaining consciousness. 

A medical report is yet to be made public but local media are stating that the boxer's cause of death was related to a brain hemorrhage.

Lawrence Zimbudzana, who is the general secretary of the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZNBWCB), has said that plans for an inquest into the situation surrounding Zimunya's death will only take place one a period of mourning has passed.

"For now, we will focus on the burial, and then we will sit down and look at the issues," he told BBC Sport Africa.

A statement from the ZNBWCB said that "all the necessary medical procedures were followed and emergency medical assistance was provided at the venue before he was taken to hospital."

"We've been robbed of one of our best prospects," added Zimunya's ex-coach, Tatenda Gada.

"I worked with Taurai for more than four years – I watched him progress and he was one for the future."

Supporters paid tribute to Zimunya following his death at Parirenyatwa Hospital, with one writing: "Rest in peace, champ."

The board provided live coverage of Zimunya's funeral on its channels, adding the hashtag "remembering our champion".

"The boxing fraternity has been shaken by this unfortunate incident," it added in its statement.

Also on rt.com ‘This tragedy was preventable’: Brain injury chief calls for boxing to be banned after teenager dies in hospital following fight