Boxer Maxim Dadashev died on Tuesday morning, just days after his fight against Subriel Matias at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, ESPN confirmed.
The 28-year-old suffered serious brain damage during the fight, as he took blow after blow to the head and body from Matias. Dadashev’s trainer, Bud McGirt, threw in the towel just before the start of the 12th round.
“I saw him fading and when he came back to the corner (after the 11th round), my mind was already made up,” McGirt told ESPN of Dadashev, who had moved to California from Russia for his training. “I was just asking him out of respect, but my mind was made up. I wasn’t going to let him go out there.”
Cameras caught McGirt trying to convince a dazed Dadashev — who was married and had a young son — to make the call himself, but the fighter was set on keeping it going.
“I’m going to stop it, Max. Max, you’re getting hit too much,” McGirt was heard saying on camera, according to ESPN. “Please, Max, please. Let me do this. OK? OK? Look at me. Please.”
McGirt then turned to the referee and officially stopped the bout, a title elimination fight for the right to compete for the IBF junior welterweight title.
After leaving the ring, Dadashev vomited uncontrollably and was noticeably dazed, according to Deadspin. He was taken to UM Prince George’s Hospital Center. Once there, he was placed in a medically induced coma as doctors worked to relieve a subdural hematoma.
A subdural hematoma is caused when tiny veins between the brain and its outer covering tear, and blood begins to collect. Treatment usually involves drilling a small hole in the skill to drain blood and relieve pressure. More severe cases involve a craniotomy, where doctors will remove a portion of the skull.
According to ESPN, Dadashev’s wife was on her way from Russia to be by his side and was scheduled to land on Monday night.
“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN of Dadashev’s death. “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 added. “He was ready, but it’s the sport that we’re in. It just takes one punch, man.”
McGirt praised Dadashev’s heart and willingness to become the best he could be.
“Great, great guy. He was a trainers dream,” McGirt said of his fighter. “If I had two more guys like him, I wouldn’t need anybody else because he was truly dedicated to the sport.”