ESPN analyst Timothy Bradley had to apologize live on the air for a reference to late boxer Simiso Buthelezi during a broadcast.
Bradley and Joe Tessitore took microphone duties for the Top Rank promoted show headlined by Edgar Berlanga on Saturday night. Bradley commented during the fourth round of Berlanga’s clash with Alexis Angulo.
Tessitore commented about a corner during the session before Bradley stated: “Look, Tess, I’ve seen worse.
“There’s a video circulating right now where a guy actually knocked another guy out of the ring. He got back in the ring, and the other guy [Simiso Buthelezi] started boxing a ghost in the corner.”
Tessitore chuckled, even though he knew about the death of Buthelezi. It may have been a nervous laugh as Bradley’s comment, though.
Bradley continued: “Seriously, he was boxing someone in the corner as the ref said box. I’m telling you.”
Moments later, “Desert Storm” had seemingly been informed of Buthelezi’s untimely passing as he told viewers: “I want to take the time to apologize for that last statement that I made about that guy who was actually punching someone in the corner.
“He [Simiso Buthelezi] actually passed away a few days ago. I had no clue that he had passed away. I just want to give my utmost apologies to his family and to his loved ones.”
Tessitore then interjected again, outlining that he didn’t realize Bradley was speaking about Buthelezi.
He commented: “I was unaware of the video you were referencing. I thought you were just telling a story based on [sic], but there was the news this week on Simiso Buthelezi, who passed away.”
SIMISO BUTHELEZI DEATH
Buthelezi was just 24 when he succumbed to a fatal brain injury that went undetected until the tenth and final round. The official picked up his punching of thin air and immediately stopped the contest.
The South African was taken to hospital and underwent surgery before being placed in an induced coma.
Sadly, doctors failed to save Simiso. He died a few days later.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.