Abdusalamov: From Bad to Worse
Vigils of this sort give me the creeps. Everyone wrings their hands waiting for the other shoe to drop, while the hurting business goes on as usual. No one is suggesting that everything grind to a halt, least of all the parallel world of scoops and exclusives. But a little reflection in light of what has happened wouldn’t be out of line.
Former heavyweight contender Magomed Abdusalamov, who was beaten to within an inch of his life at the Madison Square Garden Theater, has taken a turn for the worse. What could be worse than suffering a brain bleed, having a portion of his skull removed, and being put in a medically induced coma?
Suffering a stroke and being on life support.
As first reported by the New York Post, Abdusalamov’s temperature skyrocketed to 104 degrees over the weekend. While doctors feverishly attempted to gain control of the situation, he suffered a stroke.
Nathan Lewkowicz, vice president of Sampson Boxing, told The Post, “It was a pretty serious stroke, and a machine is keeping him alive. It’s possible he could be in a coma forever. It’s possible he could be in a coma for a few more weeks. No one knows.”
Abdusalamov’s condition has gone from very bad to even worse. We should try to remain optimistic, but we shouldn’t let ourselves to be played for fools.
Sampson Lewkowicz, president of Sampson Boxing, flew off to Bangkok after the fight for the WBC convention, so the unpleasant task of keeping the press informed fell to his son, who failed to mention Adusalamov’s stroke at Monday’s press briefing, even though it occurred the day before.
“We didn’t want to say anything about it,” he admitted, “but someone told the New York Post about it, so I decided to confirm it.”
The Magomed Abdusalamov Trust has been created to help defray the cost of the fighter’s medical expenses, which will be through the roof, whether he survives or not.
“We are going to do what we need to do for Magomed,” said Sampson Lewkowicz, according to ESPN.com. “He and his family are going to need our help. He is going to need financial assistance for the medical bills for his treatment and for his family, who are faced with an urgent financial crunch from this terrible accident.
“We cannot, as a boxing family, turn our backs on the brave men and women who compete in our sport when they need us most. We are going to do everything possible to help him get back on his feet. Magomed will never fight again, but he is a good man and a brave man with a nice family. We are going to make sure they all pull through this intact. That is the right thing to do. Every dollar will help.”
Those are fine words, to some extent even true words, but the “boxing family” of which Lewkowicz speaks paid him $40,000 to fight Mike Perez. That’s not much to feed a wife and three children, especially after everyone gets their cut. But it’s even less to have put his life at risk the way he did, which, alas, is precisely what boxing demands.