Buthelezi injury revelation

ELIAS Tshabalala said his charge Gideon Buthelezi was carrying an injury into the WBC junior flyweight title fight against Adrian Hernandez in Mexico on Sunday morning, but refused to use that as an excuse for a second-round stoppage.

"To be quite honest Gideon got caught with a good punch to the short rib," Tshabalala said.

"I don't want to make excuses but I just want to make you aware that Gideon had an injury after sparring with Sam Malinga.

"We took the injury lightly but unfortunately Hernandez hit right on that (injured) spot and Gideon couldn't do anything. He just stood there and did not retaliate and the referee duly stopped the fight."

Tshabalala said the lack of sparring partners of Buthelezi's size forced them to look for bigger partners.

"He knocked all his sparring partners, so we went for Sam Malinga who is much bigger and strong," Tshabalala said. "But I must say that Gideon fought a good first round."

He said Buthelezi's lack of experience also showed.

"He should have taken a count and he was going to come back. I asked him why he didn't do that and he said the punch took all the wind out of his lungs so he couldn't breathe.

"You can't fight with the boy when he tells you straight that he couldn't breathe. Look, there are no excuses here. We got caught clean. Hernandez fought a good fight and good luck to him for the future. We will go back to the drawing board and I'm positive we will come back strong."

Buthelezi, the IBO champion, suffered his second stoppage in three losses - the first being a sixth-round TKO against Tshepo Lefele for the national title.