A boxer says he's "devastated" over the death of his opponent after their fight in Maryland on Friday. The state has ruled he will be suspended for 30 days.
Maxim Dadashev died Tuesday after suffering a brain injury in a Friday night fight against Subriel Matías at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. He was 28.
In his first comments since Dadashev's death, Matías said, "No one is prepared to die while looking for dreams and goals."
"We simply go up to the ring thinking about the well-being for our family without knowing how complicated and difficult it is to get into the ring," Matías said in a statement Wednesday. "Fly high great warrior. Only God knows the reason of things. You will always have my respects. RIP Maxim Dadashev."
Matías will be suspended in Maryland for 30 days, state documents reveal. He received a 30-day medical suspension from the Maryland State Athletic Commission, which cited "laceration/head blows."
The commission will conduct an investigation on the match, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Dadashev's death has devastated his family in Russia, his competitor in Puerto Rico and the boxing community near and far.
When Matías learned that Dadashev died after their punishing match, he broke down.
"I don't want this check. Those were his first words," his spokesman, Fernando Gaztambide, recalled Matías saying about his $75,000 in winnings.
Dadashev collapsed after the light-welterweight fight against Matías. He was rushed to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. His family flew in from Russia to be at his side, and he died Tuesday morning.
"He was a very kind person who fought until the very end," Dadashev's wife, Elizaveta Apushkina, said in a statement issued by Prince George's Hospital Center. "Our son will continue [to] be raised to be a great man like his father."
Dadashev's widow posted on Instagram a photo of her and Dadashev smiling alongside their toddler.
After the fight, Matías flew home to the seaside region of Cataño, outside San Juan, and holed up in his apartment with his girlfriend and promoter, Gaztambide told News4 on Wednesday.
Within the devoted amateur boxing community in the D.C. area, Dadashev's death has spurred conversations about safety and the risks of a violent sport, Marshall Cunningham said. He's president of the Potomac Valley Association, a network of 28 amateur boxing gyms across the region. The group specializes in programs for youth age 8 to 21.
Cunningham expressed his condolences to Dadashev's loved ones and said he continues to believe in the merits of boxing, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"I've seen the impact, for years, of how it saves lives and changes lives," he said.
At the professional level, the glories of boxing brush up against its brutality. No one who has ever seen a boxer get seriously hurt ever forgets. He was there the night rising star Prichard Colón, then 23, suffered a life-changing brain injury at George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena in October 2015.
"You remember all the trauma, seeing someone go out on a gurney," Cunningham said.
Deaths and serious injuries caused by boxing scar fighters and loved ones on both sides of a fight, Cunningham said.
"That's something he has to deal with for the rest of his life," he said of Matías.