It was the shock heard round the world when the boxing community was hit by tragedy on Tuesday with the death of Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev, just days after he fought in the ring.
Everybody took the news hard, but nobody might feel worse than the person he was fighting against.
Subriel Matías, the Puerto Rican boxer made his first comments since Dadashev’s death was reported, telling NBC4 Washington that he is “devastated.”
“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.”
The 28-year-old Dadashev was said to have taken north of 300 punches on that night and couldn’t even walk out of the ring under his own power. He would soon collapse and be taken by stretcher to an awaiting ambulance where he would vomit several times before losing consciousness.
He was taken to a hospital for emergency brain surgery, but his condition would worsen and he never recovered.
Matías reportedly received a 30-day medical suspension following the fight, He was so distraught that his spokesman said his first words in reaction to the news were “I don’t want this check.”