Boxing-South African boxer dies from injuries sustained in knockout

Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:35am EDT
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CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African boxer Mzwanele Kompolo has died after a first round knockout in a fight on Tuesday, the country's sports ministry has said.

Kompolo, 22, was floored in the opening stages of the fight by Siphenathi Qampi, and soon afterwards collapsed following the bout sanctioned by Boxing South Africa.

He was initially treated at the ringside, before being taken to hospital in Frere in the country's Eastern Cape province, but never regained consciousness.

Another boxer, David Browne Jr of Australia, died on Tuesday after being knocked out in a regional title bout, prompting call for a ban on boxing by the Australian Medical Association.

Kompolo is the second death in the sport in South Africa inside a year after female boxer Phindile Mwelase suffered bleeding to the brain after a bout last October.

Kompolo's death could mount fresh pressure on the country's sports ministry to provide a sharper focus on the industry, after they admitted they are still investigating the circumstances around the death of Mwelase some 12 months on from the incident.

Mwelase had lost all four of her previous bouts and her final match was the first time she had competed in an eight-round contest, for which she was reportedly to be paid R4000 (£200).

Boxing is a popular sport in South Africa with many young adults seeing the sport as a way out of a life of poverty.

(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)