According to Allen Kim of CNN, Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev passed away on Tuesday at the age of 28 due to injuries from his fight against Subriel Matias of Puerto Rico at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. Dadashev lost to Matias in a junior welterweight fight. The winner of the Dadashev and Matias bout was to face Josh Taylor of Great Britain for the IBF Junior Welterweight title.
Matias beat Dadashev on the scorecard 109-100, 108-101, 107-102. Dadashev’s trainer Buddy McGirt stopped the fight when he realized Dadashev was taking a large pounding. In fact, McGirt wanted Dadashev to stop the fight earlier.
According to Dan Rafael and Steve Kim of ESPN, Dadashev had difficulty leaving the ring. He could not make it to the dressing room and started vomiting. Dadashev was then put on a stretcher and taken to the Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, MD, where he had brain surgery.
Dadashev, who was suffering from bleeding in the brain, was placed in a coma, as doctors hoped his bleeding would reduce. Unfortunately the injuries Dadashev suffered were too extensive.
As a professional boxer, Dadashev’s loss to Matias was his first professional loss. Prior to his Friday bout, Dadashev had won all 13 of his professional bouts, of which 11 came via knockout. Frequent places Dadashev fought included the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, CA and the StubHub Center in Carson, CA.
With the recent death, the boxing world will need to unite and figure out if there are ways to make the sport safer. Prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the AIBA (International Boxing Association) actually banned head gear for male boxers but not female boxers. The fact that Olympic male boxers were no longer wearing headgear for the first time in 30 years was considered extremely controversial. According to Cynthia Bir, a biomechanics researcher at the University of Southern California, more research needs to be done before determining if headgear causes more head injuries or how much it protects boxers from other serious injuries.
What we do know is this. Dadashev was not wearing any headgear as protection in his fight against Matias. We do not know at this time whether more protection on Friday could have saved Dadashev, but it is something the boxing governing bodies need to evaluate further. According to this sports science blog, any people in the medical profession are very concerned about the dangers to the head area not only in combat sports such as boxing, but other sports such as football and hockey as well.
The Russian Boxing Federation has already opened an investigation. Dadashev leaves behind a wife and son.