The opponent of Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev, who died Tuesday after suffering a brain injury during their bout, has spoken out for the first time since the pair faced off.
Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matías, 27, said in a statement to Washington D.C's WRC-TV that he was “devastated” after learning that Dadashev, 28, died after being placed in a medically induced coma following a 2-hour surgery over the weekend to stop a brain bleed that resulted from a grueling loss during an IBF junior welterweight world title eliminator match in Maryland last Friday.
"No one is prepared to die while looking for dreams and goals,” he said. "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.”
Matias’ spokesman Fernando Gaztambide told the local station that the boxing pro’s first words after hearing about Dadashev’s death were “I don’t want this check,” referencing the $75,000 in winnings he was awarded after the match.
The formerly undefeated boxer from St. Petersburg went into surgery early Saturday morning to have a portion of his skull removed to reduce swelling in the brain. Doctors reportedly told his team that there were signs of severe damage but the true extent of it couldn’t be immediately assessed.
Dadashev's wife, Elizaveta Apushkina, said in a statement provided by the hospital where he was treated that he was “a very kind person who fought until the very end.”
She continued: “Our son will continue [being] raised to be a great man like his father.”
State documents obtained by WRC-TV revealed that Matías was handed a 30-day suspension in Maryland. The suspension was classified as “medical” by the Maryland State Athletic Commission, which cited “laceration/ head blows.”