Russian heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov was placed in a medically induced coma Sunday night after suffering a blood clot on his brain following a 10-round loss to Mike Perez Saturday night at Madison Square Garden's Theater.
"I have very little information right now," said Nathan Lewkowicz, vice president of Sampson Boxing, which promotes Abdusalamov. "He is in a medically induced coma but I've been told he's stable. He had a blood clot and some brain swelling. To alleviate the pressure on his brain, doctors had to remove a small piece of his skull. That's why they had to put him in a coma. Hopefully, things will be OK."
The 32-year-old Abdusalamov is in New York's Roosevelt Hospital.
The fight between Abdusalamov and Perez was a grueling affair. The heavyweights traded power punches at a steady pace throughout most of the 10 rounds. In the end, Perez won a unanimous decision: 97-92, 97-92 and 95-94. Abdusalamov's face was bloodied and his left cheekbone was severely swollen. It was the first loss of his career, after scoring 18 consecutive knockouts.
The fight was the semifinal to the WBA middleweight title bout between Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens. Both bouts were televised by HBO. Sampson Lewkowicz, Nathan's father, is the president of Sampson Boxing. He was en route to Thailand for the WBC convention and was unavailable for comment. Tom Loeffler, promoter of Perez and Golovkin, was also traveling to Thailand.
"The thoughts and prayers of all of us at HBO Sports are with Magomed Abdusalamov," said HBO president Ken Hershman, in a statement released to the media. "We are grateful for the medical care he is receiving here in New York City and out of respect for Magomed and his family, we will wait for any official updates on his condition before making any further statements."