Russia-born boxer Maxim Dadashev has died from injuries suffered in the ring. He was 28.
His death was first confirmed by his trainer James “Buddy” McGirt and Donatas Janusevicius, Dadashev’s strength and conditioning coach, and later by the Russian Boxing Federation.
“The Russian Boxing Federation expresses deep condolences to Maxim’s relatives and close ones,” the federation said in a statement. “We mourn together with you.”
The rising star — who beat two former world lightweight champions, Darleys Perez and Antonio DeMarco, last year — was promoted by Top Rank Boxing.
“Maxim was a terrific young man,” Top Rank boss Bob Arum said in a statement. “We are all saddened and affected by his untimely death.”
Dadashev, who collapsed after a loss to undefeated Subriel Matias in their junior welterweight (140-pound) bout at the Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Friday, underwent surgery early Saturday morning to relieve swelling on his brain.
He was then reportedly placed in a medically induced coma.
Dadashev, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, who had not lost in 13 previous fights, collapsed in the aisle as he tried to leave the ring under his own power, and vomited, before being placed on a stretcher and rushed to a local hospital.
The fight — an IBF World Title Elimination fight, with the winner earning the right to challenge IBF title-holder Josh Taylor — had been stopped by McGirt before the 12th-round bell.
McGirt was seen on video pleading with Dadashev to let him end the fight.
“Max, you’re getting hit too much,” McGirt said after the 11th round. “Please, Max, Please.”
Dadashev wouldn’t give up so McGirt ended the fight by telling the ringside physician, “That’s it, doc.”
“I didn’t want him to go in the 12th round either,” Dadashev’s manager Egis Klimas told ESPN after the fight.
But he didn’t think his boxer was in serious danger.
“It never looked like Max was, like shook down, or he was already, like, going down,” Klimas said, “I never saw that.”
The fight was the co-main event on the Friday card aired by ESPN.
“I just hope that Maxim is all right,” said Matias after the fight, per The Washington Post. “He is a great fighter and a warrior.”
The neurosurgeon who performed the two-hour surgery on the boxer Saturday morning told his manager that Dadashev was showing signs of severe brain damage, ESPN reported.
Dadashev was married and the couple had a 2-year-old son.
“He was a very kind person who fought until the very end,” Dadashev’s wife, Elizaveta Apushkina, said in a statement issued by the hospital. “Our son will continue 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.”
According to ESPN, Dadashev — who was training out of California and fought exclusively in the U.S. — was seeking U.S. citizenship and was planning on sending in his documents for a green card after the fight.
“Rest In Peace, Maxim Dadashev,” noted boxing promoter Lou DiBella wrote on Twitter. “Boxing is a very unforgiving sport. We can’t make it safe, but we can make it safer. We can also rally to economically help his wife and son. We must take care of our own. This is heartbreaking news.”
- With The Associated Press