Passing of Dadashev hits fans hard, fighters harder
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Dadashev’s death reminds all of the realities of boxing.
The news that Maxim Dadashev had died, succumbing to head trauma which occured during his July 19 bout versus Subriel Matias, in Maryland, hit fight fans hard. But that development struck many fighters that much harder; after all, all of them contemplate, to one degree or another, the possibility that they could suffer severe injury or worse from engaging in the sweet science.
”The sweet science.”
Not, perhaps, the most fitting description of “pugilism,” which in itself a euphemistic tag for “fighting.”
Here is a sampling of some of the reaction from fighters, active and retired, after learning that the 28-year-old Russian fighter, who lived in California, died on Tuesday morning.
He’d undergone surgery on Saturday morning, because a brain bleed caused swelling, and doctors attempted to minimize damage from that.
This is a sobering take, and helps us on the outside understand that such a development doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Yes, the fighters do indeed ponder the possibilities, positive and negative, of what they do.
One boxer, Stan Martyniouk, was hit in the gut by the news. Also based in California, Stan recently met Maxim, and they became close. When did he meet Max? “Since I started training camp to help him get ready for his fight beginning of June. But we developed a strong friendship, he didn’t have too many friends so me and him became very close,” said the 34-year-old fighter, who owns a 20-2 record.
Terence Crawford, the pound for pound ace, weighed in:
Wow my heart heavy right now. I remember walking to the gas station with Maxim after he weighed in for one of his fights. Pray for his family to have strength in these tuff times because he was a good dude. RIP
— Terence Crawford (@terencecrawford) July 23, 2019
Vet Jean Pascal helped with perspective. The Haitian-Canadian himself gloves up Aug. 3, in a light heavyweight title challenge against Marcus Browne at Barclays Center in Brooklyn:
Another sad day for boxing . We are like soldiers. We going to war for our country, family, loved ones and we never know if we’ll make it back home. RIP Dadashev pic.twitter.com/16ppicBltk
— Jean Pascal (@jeanpascalchamp) July 23, 2019
Not every fighter, of course, offers a public statement following such a tragedy. It makes sense — sometimes it feels better to steer away from confronting the possible downsides to the sport.
At times like this, it feels like that, too, is a euphemism.
One takeaway from the death of Maxim — we on the outside can and should always be respectful of the potential outcomes when two people fight. It is incumbent on us to treat those warriors with dignity and not expect too much of them. They are only human, and sometimes seek to act super-human. It’s why we lionize them. But let’s all try and remember Maxim the next time we are tempted to ask harshly why a fighter chooses to stay on his or her stool.