Trainer devastated after boxer Ximba collapsed and died after sparring

Skhumbuzo Ximba died on Friday after a sparring session.
Skhumbuzo Ximba died on Friday after a sparring session.
Image: Arnold Nododile

Trainer Samson Ndlovu expressed his profound sorrow and grief over the untimely death of his boxer, Skhumbuzo Ximba, on Friday.

The boxer from Manzamhlophe in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, was admitted at Hillbrow Hospital after collapsing in the gym a few minutes after his four-round sparring session ended on Friday afternoon.

Johannesburg-based Ndlovu, originally from KwaZulu-Natal, said he was not at the gym when the incident occurred.

“I am told the sparring was stopped in round four. His uncle, KwaZulu-Natal junior welterweight champion Lindokuhle Dlamini, removed his boxing gloves and Skhumbuzo collapsed,” Ndlovu said on Sunday.

Ximba was preparing for a fight scheduled to be part of Boxing 5's tournament at the Box Camp in Booysens on Friday night this week.

Ndlovu visited Ximba at Hillbrow Hospital.

“He was breathing with the assistance of a machine and nurses told me he would be transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. I was at work when I received a call that Skhumbuzo passed away on Friday afternoon.”

Ndlovu said Ximba was once injured on his head.

“He was hit with a stick back at home some time ago,” he said, adding the boxer started experiencing dizzy spells after the injury.

“He fainted during a sparring session at Ludonga Gym. I was in Namibia with Innocent Mantengu when it happened,” Ndlovu said.

The severity of damage caused by being hit on the head could be picked up if boxers went for MRI scans, which investigate conditions that affect soft tissue, such as tumours, after being knocked out badly in their previous fights, when applying for professional licences after graduating from the amateur ranks or when they renew their licences, which last for 12 months.

“Skhumbuzo was knocked out badly in that fight,” said Ndlovu, referring to Ximba's fight against Siyabulela Hem in Polokwane in June.

Promoter and KwaZulu-Natal Professional Boxing Promoters Association chair Sandile Vilakazi cautioned that correct methods to reduce weight are a necessity that need to be applied by trainers, managers and boxers.

“I am not implying anything regarding the passing away of Skhumbuzo, but most similar cases are caused by the fact that boxers lose a lot of weight in a short space of time for their fights and that is a health hazard,” he said.

“There must be lessons about proper and healthy ways of dealing with this, one of which is proper diet.”

Meanwhile, former WBF International and Africa junior middleweight and WBF International super middleweight champion France “Fighting Time” Ramabolu is glad to be alive after his bakkie was involved in crash in Meyerton on Saturday.

'Thank God I am still alive,” Ramabolu said after leaving Thelle Magoerane Hospital in the East Rand.

Asemahle Wellem retained his WBF International super-middleweight belt in a draw with Selemani Kidunda in Tanzania on Friday night. The scores were 114-113 Kidunda, 114-111 Wellem and 113-113 for both.


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