Trevor Cramer

By Trevor Cramer

Senior sports sub-editor

SA boxer Lamati in hospital after TKO in fight in Belfast

"He is currently under hospital care and the latest feedback from the medical team is that all his vital signs are stable."

Ladumo “9mm” Lamati surrendered his 22-fight unbeaten record when he suffered a 12th round technical knockout defeat to the Englishman Nick Ball at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday night.

The night didn’t end well for the Eastern Cape featherweight, who was attempting to relieve Ball of his WBC silver featherweight title, as he was carried out of the ring on a stretcher after receiving attention from on-sight medical personnel.

Slumped in corner

After a brutal contest, Lamati’s trainer Phumzile Matyhila had seen enough in the final round after a solid left from Ball rocked his charge and the subsequent barrage that followed forced him to throw in the towel.

By the time the stoppage came, it appeared Ball had done more than enough to claim a points decision, as the shorter Englishman negated Lamati’s height and reach advantage through the fight by engaging on the inside and keeping his opponent at close quarters, leading to some heavy exchanges.

Concern was raised after the 31-year-old former IBO and IBF Inter-Continental junior featherweight champion slumped in his corner after the fight and had to be stretchered out of the ring.

Initially, according to ringside sources, he was doing ok, positive and speaking. He is under top medical care in a Belfast hospital and it is understood to be in a stable condition.

Under hospital care

“Lamati was taken to a Belfast hospital and numerous tests and scans were carried out. He is currently under hospital care and the latest feedback from the medical team is that all his vital signs are stable. Please keep him in your prayers,” said a statement from the Boxing5 consortium, who promote Lamati.

Out of respect for his opponent, Ball (now 18-0 – 11 knockouts) curbed his celebrations and was more concerned for his opponent’s condition.

“The main thing is Lamati’s health. I really hope he’s alright,” Ball told BT Sport after the fight.

“I will be even happier when I know that, because boxing is no joke. You have got some people not taking it seriously and you can lose your life in here, so the main thing is his health,” he added.

The fight is the main supporting bout to the shootout for the IBF featherweight crown between champion Luis Alberto Lopez of Mexico and Irishman Michael Conlan, a joint collaboration staged by Conlan Promotions, Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Queensbury.

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