Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev has died from injuries suffered in a grueling 11-round fight against Subriel Matias on Friday night.
Dadashev’s strength and conditioning coach Donatas Janusevicius and trainer Buddy McGirt confirmed the death to ESPN.
The 28-year-old had been in a medically induced coma at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center, following an emergency two-hour surgery to relieve a subdural hematoma, or brain bleed.
After 11 rounds, McGirt had pleaded with the boxer to end the fight, believing he was taking too many hits. Dadashev, who by that point couldn’t speak, shook his head no multiple times, but McGirt made the decision to end the fight anyway, telling the referee, “That’s it.”
“God forbid, one punch as you know can change a whole guy’s life and I wasn’t going to let that happen,” McGirt told the media shortly after the fight at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland. “I’d rather have them be mad at me for a day or two than to be mad at me for the rest of their life.”
Dadashev is survived by his 2-year-old son, Daniel, and wife, Elizaveta Apushkina, both of whom live in St. Petersburg, Russia.
“It is with great sadness that I confirm the passing of my husband, Maxim Dadashev,” Apushkina said in a statement provided to HuffPost. “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.
“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.”
The previously undefeated boxer was unable to leave the ring on his own power, The Guardian reported. He lost consciousness on the way to the hospital, where he was found to have sustained severe brain damage.
“I hope that Maxim is all right,” his opponent Matias said after the fight. “He is a great fighter and a warrior.”
This story has been updated with a statement from Elizaveta Apushkina.