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Russian boxer Dadashev dies of injuries suffered in world-title eliminator on Friday

The 28-year-old suffered a brain bleed and was rushed to hospital after his fight with Subriel Matias in Maryland.

Maxim Dadashev.
Maxim Dadashev.
Image: Marcel Thomas

Updated Jul 23rd 2019, 6:35 PM

RUSSIAN WORLD-TITLE CONTENDER Maxim Dadashev has died from injuries suffered in his stoppage defeat to Subriel Matias in Maryland on Friday night.

Dadashev’s trainer, Buddy McGirt, and his strength and conditioning coach, Donatas Janusevicius, informed ESPN of the 28-year-old’s death on Tuesday.

Though his fighter wished to continue on the night, McGirt threw in the towel after the 11th round of Dadashev’s world-title eliminator. The veteran trainer, who was roundly praised for his decision, remarked post-fight: “God forbid — one punch, as you know, can change a whole guy’s life and I wasn’t going to let that happen.

“I’d rather have them be mad at me for a day or two than to be mad at me for the rest of their life.”

Dadashev reportedly collapsed and vomited before he reached the changing rooms and later departed the arena in an ambulance, unconscious. He underwent surgery to relieve a subdural hematoma (brain bleeding) and was placed in a medically induced coma.

Per ESPN, neurosurgeon Mary IH Cobb told Dadashev’s manager, Egis Klimas, and Janusevicius on Saturday morning that the boxer had suffered a brain bleed on his right side, that his head was shaved and his scalp opened up, and that he was showing signs of severe brain damage.

He had been given medication to decrease swelling.

EALKyxoU0AA_JnQ Monaghan's Stevie McKenna (L) had sparred with Dadashev in California.

Speaking to ESPN this evening following his fighter’s untimely death, trainer McGirt said: “It just makes you realise what type of sport we’re in, man. He did everything right in training — no problems, no nothing.

My mind is like really running crazy right now. Like, what could I have done differently? But at the end of the day, everything was fine [in training].

“He seemed OK, he was ready, but it’s the sport that we’re in. It just takes one punch, man.

“I saw him fading and when he came back to the corner [after the 11th round], my mind was already made up,” McGirt added. “I was just asking him out of respect, but my mind was made up. I wasn’t going to let him go out there.”

Former Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year McGirt described Dadashev as a “great, great guy” and “a trainer’s dream”.

He added of the Russian: “If I had two more guys like him, I wouldn’t need anybody else because he was truly dedicated to the sport.”

Boxer Hospitalized Maxim Dadashev celebrates victory over Antonio DeMarco in October 2018. Source: John Locher

Dadashev had an amateur record of 281-20 and was undefeated in 13 professional fights before Friday’s loss. He was the IBF’s third-ranked light-welterweight.

A resident of Oxnard in California, he had intended to apply for his green card following his fight with Matias.

He leaves behind his wife — who had flown to the States to be at his bedside — and their son.

In a statement this evening, boxing promoters Top Rank said: 

Maxim was a talented fighter inside the ring and a loving husband and father outside the ropes. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Top Rank chairman, Bob Arum, added: “Maxim was a terrific young man. We are all saddened and affected by his untimely death.”

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