Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev died on Tuesday at 28 years old.
His death occurred just four days after the athlete lost an International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior welterweight fight in Maryland. He suffered a severe brain injury during the fight.
Dadashev was quickly rushed to a Cheverly, Md., hospital for emergency surgery. He later died there.
The Russian Boxing Federation confirmed the news on Tuesday morning. “The RBF expresses deep condolences to Maxim’s family and friends,” it wrote in an official statement.
Dadashev lost his first professional fight that night, after 11 rounds, to Puerto Rican boxer Subriel Matias. Both fighters held a 13-0 winning streak and were competing for a spot against the current champion title-holder, Josh Taylor.
According to CNN, Dadashev had a subdural hematoma, or bleeding in the brain, which can often be life-threatening depending on the severity of the injury.
The fatal bout took place at The Theater at MGM National Harbour in Oxon Hill, where Dadashev took an abundance of blows to the head.
Footage captured from the Friday night event shows Dadashev looking exhausted after his final round. Longtime trainer Buddy McGirt is seen talking to him, pleading him to stop the fight and call it quits for the night.
“You’re getting hit too much, Max,” said McGirt. “Please, Max, please let me do this.”
In response, Dadashev shook his head in denial. Before Round 12 began, the referee listened to McGirt’s request and ended the fight, hailing Matias, 27, as the winner.
As reported by the Associated Press, secretary-general of the RBF, Umar Kremlev, said in an email that the federation would investigate whether anyone was at fault for Dadashev’s death.
“We need to know the truth about what happened,” he wrote. “I believe that some human factors intervened, that there was some kind of violation.”
In the wake of the news, fans took to social media to share their condolences.
McGirt also told CNN: “As you can imagine, devastated us all.
“Out of respect for his family, I will refrain from making any comment at this time other than to say Maxim was and always will be a phenomenal young man and boxer.”
Here are what some of Dadashev’s fans had to say:
Rest In Peace Maxim Dadashev. 😢 This was hard to watch. Professional fighters put their life on the line each time they step inside the middle of the ring. This is not a game. Remember that when you decide to make… https://t.co/YtZyqzaK03
— Brennan Cleveland (@Brennan1stDan) July 24, 2019
My heart goes out to Maksim Dadashev and his family. This is a reminder that #boxing is more than a sport.
May his opponent, Subriel Matias, find peace of heart and mind.
— Gabriel Montoya™ (@Gabriel_Montoya) July 23, 2019
Dadashev was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sept. 30, 1990. He started boxing at the age of 18 before becoming a professional.
He later brought his family over to the U.S. to train under McGirt in Oxnard, Calif.
Dadashev is survived by his wife Elizaveta Apushkina and his son.
In his email to the Associated Press, Kremlev added that the RBF would offer Dadashev’s family financial support.
“He was a very kind person who fought until the very end,” said Apushkina of her husband in an official statement issued by the hospital. “Our son will continue (to) be raised to be a great man like his father.”
—With files from the Associated Press
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