Junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev died Tuesday morning. His death was the result of brain injuries suffered during an 11th-round knockout loss to Subriel Matias on Friday night. Dadashev was 28.
Donatas Janusevicius — Dadashev’s strength and conditioning coach — and trainer Buddy McGirt confirmed Dadashev’s death.
“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN. “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.”
A hospital spokeswoman issued a statement on behalf of Dadashev’s widow, Elizaveta Apushkina.
“It is with great sadness that I confirm the passing of my husband, Maxim Dadashev,” she said. “He was a very kind person who fought until the very end. Our son will continue to be raised to be a great man like his father. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone that cared for Maxim during his final days. I ask that everyone please respect our privacy during this very difficult time.”
Matias dominated The grueling fight. He landed numerous powerful blows to the head and body. Matias was ahead on the scorecards following the 11th round when McGirt stopped the fight.
After the round, McGirt loudly told Dadashev, “I’m going to stop it, Max. Max, you’re getting hit too much.”
Dadashev shook his head to indicate he did not want the fight stopped, but McGirt kept at it: “Please, Max, please. Let me do this. OK? OK? Look at me. Please.”
Dadashev shook his head again and McGirt said, “If I don’t, the referee’s gonna do it. C’mon, Max. Please.”
McGirt didn’t wait for another signal from Dadashev.
“That’s it, Doc,” he told the ringside physician. Then he turned to referee Kenny Chevalier: “That’s it.”
“I saw him fading and when he came back to the corner [after the 11th round], my mind was already made up,” McGirt said. “I was just asking him out of respect, but my mind was made up. I wasn’t going to let him go out there.”
Dadashev (13-1, 11 KOs), from Saint Petersburg, Russia, needed help leaving the ring. He collapsed before making it to the dressing room and began vomiting. He was taken from the arena on a stretcher and then was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery for two hours for a subdural hematoma. Doctors hoped to relieve pressure on the right side of his brain, where most of the damage was, with the surgery and placed him in a medically induced coma, to allow time for brain swelling to subside.
Dadashev, who began boxing at age 10, was a promising prospect following a standout amateur career in which he went 281-20 and was a silver medalist at the 2008 World Junior Championships. He claimed a silver medal at the 2013 Russian amateur championships and bronze medals at the same tournament in 2010 and 2012.
Dadashev relocated to Southern California to pursue his professional career. He turned pro in April 2016.
Dadashev knocked out journeyman Ricky Sismundo in the fourth round on March 23 to set himself up for the world title eliminator against Matias (14-0, 14 KOs), 27, of Puerto Rico.