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Boxer Dadashev dies from fight injuries

AFP, MOSCOW

Maxim Dadashev, left, hits Antonio DeMarco during a junior welterweight bout on Oct. 20 last year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo: AP

Russian boxer Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev has died from brain injuries sustained in a fight in Maryland, the Boxing Federation of Russia announced on Tuesday.

“Maxim Dadashev has died in the United States following injuries sustained during his fight with Subriel Matias,” the federation said in a statement.

The 28-year-old underwent emergency brain surgery in Washington after his super-lightweight bout with Puerto Rican Matias on Friday last week was stopped after the 11th round by his cornerman, James “Buddy” McGirt.

Dadashev was unable to walk to the dressing room and was immediately hospitalized.

Doctors operated to relieve pressure from swelling on his brain.

McGirt, who said after the fight that he “couldn’t convince” his fighter to stop, but opted to throw in the towel when he saw him “getting hit with more and more clean shots as the fight went on,” on Tuesday told ESPN that he was wracking his brain wondering if he could have done things differently.

“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN, which streamed the fight on its ESPN+ platform.

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

Federation secretary-general Umar Kremlev told Russian media that Dadashev’s body would be repatriated home and that his family would receive financial aid.

Dadashev’s widow, Elizaveta Apushkina, in a statement confirmed the fighter’s death “with great sadness.”

“He was a very kind person who fought until the very end. Our son will continue be raised to be a great man like his father,” she said of the St Petersburg-born fighter who trained in Oxnard, California.

Dadashev took an unbeaten 13-0 record into the 140-pound nontitle fight.

Dadashev turned pro in April 2016 and relocated to California to pursue his ring ambitions, eventually signing with promoters Top Rank.

Dadashev was rated in the top five by two world sanctioning organizations going into Friday’s fight in Washington, an elimination bout for the right to become mandatory challenger for Josh Taylor’s International Boxing Federation title.

Matias dominated, and after the 11th round McGirt could be heard telling Dadashev “I’m going to stop it, Max,” even as Dadashev shook his head.

McGirt, himself a former two-weight world champion, then told the referee: “That’s it.”

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