ZIMBABWEAN boxer Taurai Zimunya has died after a third-round knockout in a bantamweight fight on Sunday evening, the country’s boxing federation has said.
Zimunya (24) of Legends Boxing Club in Harare’s high-density suburb of Mbare, was floored the third round of his fight against Tinashe Majoni of the Charles Manyuchi Academy stable at Body Active Gym in Borrowdale.
Zimunya reportedly collapsed during the bout and was initially treated at the ringside, before being taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital in the capital, but never regained consciousness.
The Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board confirmed the sad news.
Although the medical report on the cause of death is yet to be released sources said the deceased boxer suffered bleeding to the brain after the bout.
This is the first time in Zimbabwe that a boxer has died from injuries sustained in the ring, a development that is expected to put the spotlight on health and safety issues in local boxing.
The bout which was sanctioned by the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board was one of the 10 fights on the bill hosted by the Otto Boxing Club which was dubbed “Rise of Champions”.
This was the first local tournament in five months. The last one was hosted by Clyde Musonda’s Delta Force Academy on June 5.
Sunday’s boxing tournament was organised by veteran boxing trainer Ali “Otto” Phiri.
Phiri is the chief trainer at Charles Manyuchi Academy, which has produced a number of champions, including former World Boxing Organisation Africa welterweight title holder Brendon “Boika” Denes.
He has also been Manyuchi’s trainer since the WBF middleweight champion’s divorce with Zambian stable Oriental Quarries.