Lost in the shuffle over this recent busy period of combat sports was a very serious incident that occurred on Friday night.
In the co-main event of the Top Rank on ESPN+ card in Maryland, Russian junior welterweight contender Maxim Dadashev (13-1, 11 KOs) lost a title eliminator against Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias (14-0, 14 KOs). What started out as a competitive bout turned into a one-sided affair in Matias’ favor. The 11th round in particular saw Dadashev hurt multiple times, his legs exceedingly unsteady, but he never went down.
It was by far the most obvious round to question whether or not Dadashev should continue, and ultimately his trainer Buddy McGirt made the call to stop the fight, much to the protestation of “Mad Max.”
This is a mark of a great trainer, one that knows his warrior at war a trainer has to love his fighter enough to make a crucial call sometimes saving him from his very self. Great call Buddy @buddymcgirtboxing prayers up for this young warrior #speedyrecovery #toughsport pic.twitter.com/cKljvTKOgt
— The Magic Man (@AntonioTarver) July 20, 2019
McGirt was then given a standing ovation by the crowd after his post-fight interview with ESPN.
Unfortunately for Dadashev, who absorbed north of 300 punches over the course of the contest, he could not exit the ring under his own power and collapsed to the ground. Immediate medical attention was provided, as he was assisted to a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance, vomiting profusely while inside. Initially he was reported as responsive but “severely concussed” and “severely dehydrated.” He eventually lost consciousness while in the ambulance.
ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna later reported during the broadcast that Dadashev needed emergency surgery for massive brain swelling. Dadashev has since completed the two-hour operation to relieve a subdural hematoma, otherwise known as bleeding of the brain.
ESPN has since released more details on Dadashev’s condition, which does include some encouraging news concerning his health.
Early Saturday morning, neurosurgeon Mary IH Cobb told Dadashev’s manager, Egis Klimas, and Janusevicius 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.
”Right now, he’s in critical condition, but the doctor told me that he’s stable,” Dadashev’s strength and conditioning coach Donatas Janusevicius, who visited with the fighter on Saturday afternoon, told ESPN. “We know that the bleeding has stopped. Also, the swelling has stopped. So some positive news, and we hope and pray for the best.”
Dadashev’s manager, Egis Klimas, told ESPN “I didn’t want him to go in the 12th round either,” and that he was ready to approach McGirt to have the fight stopped.
It was last December when Klimas-managed Oleksandr Govozdyk knocked out Adonis Stevenson to win the WBC light-heavyweight title. Stevenson was placed in a coma after he suffered severe brain injuries, but has since made significant strides on his road to recovery.
We will have updates on Dadashev when more information becomes available. Should he survive this, it is absolutely not a stretch to say that Buddy McGirt may have saved Dadashev’s life by throwing in the towel and not gambling that he could pull off a miraculous 12th round win. It is one of the most powerful moments of cornerman work you will ever see, and you wish for the best for Maxim after such a brutal, life-altering beating sustained over the weekend.
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