Trainer Buddy McGirt seemed to do everything right in his handling of Maxim Dadashev’s TKO loss to Subriel Matias this past weekend — so much so that McGirt was unanimously praised for pulling the plug on the fight after the 11th, fearing that his fighter was taking too much punishment.
At the time Dadashev, who had been battling hard for 11 full rounds, wasn’t receptive to having the fight stopped with just one round left. Dadashev was a warrior, after all. But it’s the corner’s job to know when enough is enough, and McGirt, who was a world champion fighter himself, knew that he had to stop it before something dangerous happened. So McGirt threw in the towel anyway, against his fighter’s wishes.
In the post-fight interview McGirt would speak the plain honest truth, saying that he’d rather have his fighter be mad at him for a few days because he stopped a fight rather than let him suffer lifetime consequences. It was an admirable and compassionate stance to take. But the real tragedy here was even that wasn’t enough to save Dadashev.
Immediately following the fight Dadashev showed some seriously concerning signs, needing help just to exit the ring on his way to the dressing room before he collapsed and started violently vomiting. At the time ESPN reported that Dadashev had suffered a severe concussion as well as severe dehydration, but that was only a preliminary assessment before they could get Dadashev to a local hospital for evaluation.
Dadashev would soon after be diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, and doctors had to rush him into emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain from the internal bleeding. Following the surgery Dadashev was placed into a medically induced coma as they waited for the swelling on his brain to go down.
Unfortunately Dadashev didn’t recover, though, and it was reported today that he had succumb to those injuries and passed away this morning.
As devastating as that news was, there’s also this uneasy feeling of what could’ve been done differently to prevent this disaster. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but in all honesty there was no obvious point to stop that fight before it ultimately was. So people might expect that this outcome would be particularly distressing to Dadashev’s trainer Buddy McGirt, who made a hard decision in order to try to save his fighter. And those people would be exactly right.
“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN. “He did everything right in training, no problems, no nothing. My mind is like really running crazy, right now. Like what could I have done differently? But at the end of the day, everything was fine (in training).
“He seemed OK, he was ready, but it’s the sport that we’re in. It just takes one punch, man.”
“I saw him fading and when he came back to the corner (after the 11th round), my mind was already made up,” McGirt said. “I was just asking him out of respect, but my mind was made up. I wasn’t going to let him go out there.”
In boxing we often come across one too many cases of negligence, where fights that obviously should be stopped go on for far too long, and sometimes those fights end in tragedy. This fight, while rough, was not demonstrably more brutal than plenty of other fights I’ve seen in recent years, which only makes the untimely passing of Dadashev all the more difficult wrap my mind around.
This is really a kick in the nuts for the sport, but more importantly, this is a devastating loss for Dadashev’s family and friends. We at BLH extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Dadashev’s family.