Dadashev undergoes brain surgery after loss

Previously undefeated Maxim Dadashev was taken to a hospital following his 11th-round loss to Subriel Matias on Friday night and underwent surgery because of brain swelling.

After trainer Buddy McGirt threw in the towel after Round 11 of the IBF 140-pound eliminator, Dadashev needed assistance leaving the ring. He left the arena on a stretcher and was taken to UM Prince George’s Hospital Center.

At 2:47 a.m., Dadashev, unconscious and connected to various tubes and an IV, was taken to the recovery area following a two-hour surgery to relieve a subdural hematoma, or bleeding of the brain.

There are still a lot of questions about Dadashev’s health after the surgery. At 2:25 a.m., neurosurgeon Mary IH Cobb told Dadashev’s manager Egis Klimas and trainer Donatas Janusevicius that the boxer had suffered a brain bleed on his right side, that his head was shaved and his scalp opened up, and that he was showing signs of severe brain damage. He had been given medication to decrease swelling.

“He will swell over the next few days,” Cobb said. “I don’t know how much brain damage he has.”

She added that some who sustain subdural hematomas can make a relatively strong recovery.

“I wouldn’t give up on him,” said Cobb.

Dadashev vomited before he could reach his dressing room. An EMT was called in and Dadashev was taken off in a stretcher.

It was a tough, grinding fight. Every round was hard for Dadashev, who was backing up for much of the fight, attempting to box, yet still getting hit with a multitude of hard, heavy shots from Matias. It’s never the one-punch knockouts that are so dangerous, but these long, drawn out affairs where punishment is doled out, round after round.

“We knew he was a puncher,” said his manager, Egis Klimas. “He fought and he was tough, he put a lot of pressure on Max and he was going back and back and back and back, but he was fighting back. Even in the 9th round, he kind of shook Matias for the first time in the fight.”

These are the type of situations that are often times so perilous for boxers, who, while getting beat convincingly, are still doing just enough to stay in the fight.

Final punch stats

157 of 621 (25%)
37 of 290 (13%)
120 of 331 (36%)
319 of 1204 (27%)
52 of 323 (16%)
266 of 881 (30%)
— Courtesy of CompuBox

Klimas noted, “It never looked like Max was, like, shook down, or he was already like going down. I never saw that.”

But still, the manager believed his fighter, who was well behind on points going into the final rounds, had had enough and was going to ask trainer, Buddy McGirt to stop the fight.

“I didn’t want him to go in the 12th round, either,” said Klimas.

A few hours after the fight, Klimas went to the hospital to meet strength and conditioning coach Janusevicius in the emergency room. Around 2 a.m., a hospital staffer asked the pair questions about Dadashev, whose wife will not arrive from Russia until Saturday afterrnoon.

“He’s going to be here for a couple of days,” they were told.

Klimas was leaving in a couple of hours for the UK to be with another one of his clients, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Janusevicius decided to stay a few extra days on the east coast.

For anyone associated with the fight game, these are agonizing moments.

“I’ve been there with my opponents, my guys have fought guys who are in the same position and trust me, even it’s an opponent, I feel the same,” Klimas laments.

And for him, there is a tragic juxtaposition to all this. In December, Adonis Stevenson suffered similar injuries in his bout with Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who is handled by Klimas. Stevenson, who was in a coma for a few weeks after this bout, has made a rather remarkable recovery and is now beginning the process of walking and functioning as normally as possible.

“Hopefully it can be like Stevenson’s recovery,” said Klimas, as he was riding up the elevator, shortly after his late night calls.

According to Compubox, Matias outlanded Dadashev 319-157; 112 of Matias’ punches were body shots.

As the rounds mounted, Matias steadily piled them up in his favor, outworking Dadashev and pounding the body consistently. In the later rounds, either because of exhaustion or desperation, Dadashev began to sit inside the pocket and fight with Matias. But while he had some success, he was overwhelmed by Matias, whose punches had more effect.

The scores at the time of the stoppage in favor of Matias were 109-100, 108-101 and 107-102.

“First of all, I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” Matias said. “I showed that I am not just a power puncher. I also can box. I was dominating the fight. I focused my offense on going to the body, and that’s how I stopped him from running.”

But his fallen foe also was on his mind.

“I hope that Maxim is all right. He is a great fighter and a warrior.”

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