Abdusalamov: From Bad to Worse

By Robert Ecksel on November 6, 2013
Abdusalamov: From Bad to Worse
The “boxing family” of which Lewkowicz speaks paid him $40,000 to fight Mike Perez.

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.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Read More Blogs
Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Bobby Franklin 03:03pm, 11/13/2013

    Thank you for writing this Robert. While the behavior of HBO has been despicable, only a very brief comment about the bout during last Saturday’s broadcast, the NY State Athletic Commission has much to answer for as well. With five doctors in attendance and not one of them taking a moment to step into the ring to examine Mago. Yes, fighters take a risk when getting into the ring, but this was negligence as Mago was complaining about pains in his head and had obvious severe injuries that were even evident on TV. The referee never stopped the bout to take a good look at him. It was pure blood lust.

  2. Jeff 03:09am, 11/08/2013

    I think everyone who criticised Wladimir Klitschkos last title defense should maybe sit back and reconsider. The HW division has always been dangerous, and the HW division is forever evolving. Prayers to Magomed and his family.

  3. JuicyPeach 03:13pm, 11/07/2013

    I am really sorry to hear about Magomed’s deteriorating condition.  His corner should be held responsible for some of his condition!.  What about the doctors, did they not see the condition he was in?  I thought it was their job to stop a fight if a fighter is injured even if they try to keep fighting.  Seems like they should have stopped the fight when he complained about his nose being broken.  I know he was trying to feed his family, but he is not even able to see his family, much less feed them.  He risked his life for a measly $40,000, which he got a shoddy deal!!.  May God be with him and his family.

  4. EBM 07:13am, 11/07/2013

    This has nothing to do with Floyd but of course and nor should it—a whole lot of folks do not want to look towards the cash cow—God forbid they get out of the boxing business, heavens me—this is an HBO matter, the Promoters of the event matter, and the State of New York matter, this is a liability/injury binder coverage for the fighter matter, this is a who is or isn’t going to pay, and if it’s nobody then there should be some serious look at revamping….

  5. EBM 07:06am, 11/07/2013

    Sir Robert as you know I am under the knife shortly and if the Doc sneezes I will end up in the alto section of the choir. Please consider doing a full page spread of Sneak’s letter with a great title—let it rock baby—“THE WAY A FAN WRITES IT/DEAR HBO.” ALSO- WOULD ONE OF OUR NEW YORK LADS LET ME KNOW WHAT THE COMMISH RULES ARE IN THE STATE IN TERMS OF INJURED BOXERS AND PRE-FIGHT POSTED INSURANCES OR PROMOTER LIABILITY. IN OUR LOVELY JURISDICTION I ASSURE YOU THE PROMOTER WOULD BE SWEATING PROFUSELY.

  6. andrew 07:02am, 11/07/2013

    i like the floyd idea! and please everyone pray for mag

  7. Pete The Sneak 06:58am, 11/07/2013

    To quote Ted ‘El Toro’ Sares, “Irish Frankie has the beat”...Peace.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:55am, 11/07/2013

    Here’s what I’m thinking about…confident, experienced, take charge and in control ringside physicians and referees as Tony Weeks was in the Provodnikov/Alvarado bout. No more doctors leaning through the ropes and being squeezed out by courageous and zealous cornermen when things are getting really serious as they were the past Saturday night….get in there doc and get right in the fighter’s face and take a good Goddamned look….please!....thank you!.....which reminds me…. more standing eights please….so what if your guy doesn’t “finish” his hurt opponent….it will still be scored a 10-8 round.

  9. Robert Ecksel 06:36am, 11/07/2013

    Millions of dollars change hands on a regular basis. HBO/Time Warner, Showtime, the promoters who control the sport, the A-list fighters—any and all of them could step up if they felt that it mattered. That they have not stepped up leads one to conclude that they believe it doesn’t matter. This might be an “unfortunate accident.” Maybe “things like this happen in boxing.” But it speaks to a larger truth, a painful and perhaps criminal truth, best expressed by former heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon: “It’s like we’re racehorses. They race us till we drop, and then they shoot us.”

  10. Pete The Sneak 06:25am, 11/07/2013

    Robert, as I know the below is pure fantasy and will never come to fruition, please make public the ‘official Trust’  when it is set up so we can at least provide a little assistance in helping to ‘defray’ some of these costs. Thank you…Peace.

  11. Pete The Sneak 06:22am, 11/07/2013

    EBM, you beat me to the punch…HBO/Time Warner should Pony up and go public with the following Press Release: We at HBO/Time Warner care about the Boxers who climb those steps and enter the ring under our banner to entertain the masses.While it’s obvious that there are always risks involved in the participation of thIs great sport, there are unfortunately instances where those risks become a reality, as in the case of Heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov. We join with the Abdusalamov family and the entire boxing world in our heartfelt prayers for the speedy recovery of this gallant warrior. As it is expected it will be a long road ahead for Magomed during his recovery, HBO/Time Warner will be steadfast in their support of Mr. Abdusalamov with financial assistance to help defray the extensive medical costs expected during Magomeds recovery. Again, our deepest and most sincere prayers go out to Magomed and the Abdusalamov family- Signed, Ken Hershman, President HBO Sports.

  12. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 05:09am, 11/07/2013

    Was there no Insurance via Promoter etc in place for this unfortunate Gladiator??? Press release ” WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE THEY PULL THROUGH THIS INTACT.” ARE YOU KIDDING? They will NEVER BE INTACT after this event. A Husband, father etc has suffered serious serious brain damage—a traumatic event. This press release is either an unfortunate turn of words hastened together or a total lack of empathy and understanding as to the terrible situation. They ain’t ain’t pulling thru this intact even if Mag recovers to a degree ( he will not be the same man ) and we pray that he does. As for HBO—well they no doubt made a piss load of pay per view and this poor man apparently had a purse of $40,000—time to pony up!!!!

  13. Russian Mountains 10:25pm, 11/06/2013

    I agree with Irish Frankie and I like the way this article is worded, these promoters are just doing a massive cover up, he doesn’t have insurance how does he get medically cleared to fight and the doctor like Frankie said didn’t even check the pupils of mago in between rounds when he’s got massive swelling of his cheek and both eyes he looked like a car accident victim but nope no medical attention whatsoever the only thing they were complaining about was the tape on his gloves from what i recall.

    This is a tragedy and this whole bullshit trust fund is hogwash, they need to hire a good lawyer with that money and sue the commission the promoters and his greedy manager.

  14. PolskaBox 06:01pm, 11/06/2013

    The bout was great up until round 4. I thought he was obviously in a lot of pain and maybe didn’t want to continue even then. Beyond that, I just hope he somehow makes it out of this situation. Hard to leave a family behind like this, and if a donation fund is created hopefully people will gladly support this man (myself included).

  15. Tony 03:39pm, 11/06/2013

    Come on Floyd. This won’t put a dent in your bank account. Cover this guy’s medical bills.

  16. Ted 01:51pm, 11/06/2013

    I hear you Matt

  17. Ted 01:50pm, 11/06/2013

    Yes it is CG. When I had my subdural hematoma a few years back, my sequence went from severe migraine headaches to being wobbly and unable to function. I then got a scan and was on a helicopter to Maine Med where my skull was drilled into to relive the pressure. Thankfully, there was no blood clot. But I learned a lot about these kinds of injuries and they are very tricky because a stroke in the middle of the normal sequence is terrible.  The worse sequence is for a fighter to be boxed into an unconscious state which leads to an uninduced coma. That’s the one that got Kid Paret and many others. Many make it to the dressing room and then collapse setting off a sequence like Leavander Johnson.  This is more like Joe Mesi but a lot worse. The blood clot is the worse part of it. A prayer to the Blessed Mother is certainly in order for sure.

  18. Matt McGrain 01:05pm, 11/06/2013

    Fuck it.

  19. Clarence George 01:02pm, 11/06/2013

    While money can already be donated, I personally intend to wait for the trust to be established, which I assume and hope will be soon.

    I had a temperature of more than 104 when I had pneumonia.  Nightmarish.  Combined with a stroke and Mago’s other medical issues…

    A prayer to the Blessed Mother is certainly in order.

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:49pm, 11/06/2013

    Robert Ecksel-How about a lot of “reflection” and a little less of an attitude of fatalistic inevitability especially from the most fervent devotees of this “sport”? Which reminds me…..to say that the doctor at ringside wasn’t on his game wouldn’t be an overstatement….it seems that many of these medical professionals at the ring apron are on high alert for lacerations and bleeding but less vigilant where fighters are obviously being concussed round after round after round. How about stepping in and checking for dilated pupils when called for as it obviously was in this instance….would that be asking too much?

Leave a comment