One of the great risks in boxing, something that fans and media and fighters and everyone else try to put out of their mind at all times, is the fact that because of the brutal nature of the sport, things can go wrong. Sadly, we've seen that again in recent weeks, with the passing of Francisco Leal in late October, and now, Magomed Abdusalamov in the ICU in a medically-induced coma following an hellacious battle with Mike Perez this past Saturday on HBO.
Abdusalamov, 32, lost a 10-round decision in a fight some felt should have been stopped as the fighter complained of obvious injuries during the bout, only to have his corner continue to send him out to fight. With power like his, any one punch could have turned the fight around, and it was a huge opportunity for Abdusalamov. He never, to our knowledge, specifically asked the corner to stop the fight, either, and it's not totally on John David Jackson or anyone else on Abdusalamov's team. Boxing is vicious. Boxing is savage. And these things can and will happen.
HBO Sports President Ken Hershman released a statement last night, sending the heavyweight fighter best wishes from the network.
"The thoughts and prayers of all of us at HBO Sports are with Magomed Abdusalamov," Hershman said. "We are grateful for the medical care he is receiving here in New York City and out of respect for Magomed and his family, we will wait for any official updates on his condition before making any further statements."
Mike Coppinger reported at BoxingScene.com yesterday that Abdusalamov was in stable condition in the ICU at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, still in the coma to prevent any serious complications from the blood clot on his brain.