Still unanswered questions one year after Dadashev death
Sunday night is the tragic one year anniversary of Russian Maxim Dadashev losing not just a fight, but eventually, his life days after his bout in a Maryland boxing ring.
And, 52 weeks later there are still outstanding questions.
First, as we wrote in the aftermath of his one-sided Jr. Lightweight, 11th round TKO loss to Puerto Rican Subriel Matias, it was obvious that Dadashev had been in distress. He later collapsed on his way out of the ring and was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for brain surgery. The 28 year old never regained consciousness, dying four days later.
But, besides the pounding that Matias gave Dadashev that night in a Top Rank Boxing co-main event in Oxon Hill, Maryland, were there other factors leading up to and during the fight that made his death preventable?
For example, it had been widely reported that Dadashev had to lose significant weight, perhaps as much is 10 lb., in the final weeks and days prior to his co-feature fight that night.
How much did that strain on his system contribute not only to his lacking performance as the fight went on, but also to excessive dehydration and gradual system shutdown for the Russian? Those factors combined with head trauma leading to his fatal situation is definitely debatable.
Further, as we detailed after the fight, longtime trainer and former World Championship fighter himself, James “Buddy” McGirt was in Dadadshev’s corner that night. He knew that Dadashev was in trouble as the fight entered the late rounds and eventually, was the one that refused to let him come out for the 12th and final round to take any more punches.
It’s haunting to entertain the thought and the criticism, that McGirt should have understood/been more aware to have acted a round or so sooner, because it was obvious that Matthias was out-landing Dadashev 3 to 1 in blows.
Should he, could he, have been more proactive? It’s a legitimate question.
But, McGirt was right there, knew his fighter better than anyone and to his defense, he stopped the fight, when he felt there was no hope.
This is because, most importantly, there was almost zero chance that the Russian was going to land a significant “Haymaker” type punch to change the dynamic of the fight.
Finally, what of the safety and health measures that the Maryland Boxing Commission were responsible for imposing and adhering to with the fighters leading up to that card?
It’s enough of a dispute that it got Dadashev’s management team, his widow and the Russian Boxing Federation to eventually file a lawsuit against the Maryland Commission in December of last year seeking unspecified financial consideration.
They all believe that the commission should have been more diligent and responsible in monitoring Dadashev’s weight loss and the effects on him prior to stepping through the ropes against Matias, while under Maryland’s authority.
It’s unclear seven months later, where that suit stands and if some type of settlement won’t be reached?
The shame of it is that Dadashev not only had such a promising career (13-0) before that July night, but that he was only 28 years old, left a widow and at that time, a two-year-old child. Yes, the events in that Maryland ring had a profound affect half way around the globe to Russia, and will forever be with them, as well.
In conclusion, at a minimum, more effort should be made to have greater oversight and awareness of fighters cutting weight significantly prior to their bouts. This has been a private, rampant problem, worldwide in the sport for over a decade.
And, it’s now a must to have paramedics and trained physicians more ready on assisting a fighter that may not be immediately showing every outward sign of distress, but is a likely candidate for it, as Dadashev became on July 19th, 2019.
Again, none of this makes Dadashev’s death any less tragic or easier to accept, but perhaps, it might just save another fighter in the future from a similar fate.