Oxnard-based pro boxer dies of brain injuries

A local professional boxer has died, four days after suffering brain injuries in a professional fight in Maryland.

28-year-old Maxim "Mad Max" Dadashev was based and trained at Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, CA. He moved to the USA three years ago from St. Petersburg, Russia to pursue his dream of becoming a world champion pro boxer.

His coach says the fearless, 140-pound NABF junior welterweight, 13-0 with 11 knockouts, was within arm's reach of that dream.

"This was a title-eliminator, so he was one step before fighting for a World Title, so he was right there," said Coach Marco Contreras who trained Dadashev at Boxing Laboratory from 2016 until March 2019 and helped prepare him for what became Mad Max's last fight.

"He was one to two fights away from fighting for a World Title," Contreras said.

From their boxing gym, Coach Contreras watched live, as his 28-year old athlete suffered numerous shots to the head against Puerto Rico's Subriel Matias in Maryland Friday. He saw Contreras shaking his head in his corner after the 11th round, as his trainer, Buddy McGirt pleads with Dadashev to stop the fight and then calls it.

Emergency workers rushed Dadashev to the hospital and put him in a medically-induced coma to stop his brain from swelling. His heart stopped Tuesday morning.

Contreras, who knows and respects McGirt, says he does not think anyone is at fault.

"That's where the experience comes in as a coach and knowing the fighter. You have to know the capabilities and qualities of every fighter. Does he still stand a chance to finish the fight? Does he stand a chance to win the bout? Is it worth it or do you stop the fight?"

"I just feel like walking away, taking a break from this place but I can't do it," said Contreras. "It's hard. I have to continue with what we do here - training boxers and getting them ready for a fight."

Outside of the ring, Dadashev was a family man who leaves behind his wife and young son.

"He will always be remembered as my champion. He will live forever in our hearts."

Dadashev was also taking a class at Oxnard Community College to learn English. He beat two former lightweight world champions last year and was known as a rising star.