On Tuesday, Maxim Dadashev tragically passed away from health complications following his July 19 fight with Subriel Matías. The fight was called after the 11th round as Dadashev had been taking too many blows to the head. Those blows caused internal bleeding and brain damage that would result in him losing his life shortly after entering a coma. What’s most striking of all is footage that was obtained from his corner after the 11th round. When his trainer Buddy McGirt let the boxer know that he was going to stop the fight early, Dadashev expressed frustration clearly signaling that he wanted the fight to go on. The same fight that had already cost him his life.
Dadashev went out like a warrior. He embodied the ideals of his sport. And there is something we can learn about the human spirit from his example. I had never heard the name Maxim Dadashev before that fateful evening in Oxin Hill, Maryland. But you can something about about a man by reading through his Wikipedia. Dadashev had clearly dedicated his life to the sport of boxing. In 2008, he was a finalist at the World Junior Championships in Mexico. He had a perfect 13-0 record as a professional fighting in the light welterweight division. Boxing was his livelihood and had enabled him to train and compete around the world. His family had flown in from Russia to support him in his fight with Matías. The fight was a huge opportunity to advance his international career and position him for more lucrative opportunities. With a victory Dadashev would likely have been granted a green card with which he could fulfill his dream of moving his family to the US. In this light, it’s not all that surprising that Dadashev wanted the fight to go on. Boxing in a word was his destiny.
How many of us give up at the first sign of discomfort? Whether it’s the 30-LB dumbbell, fatigue from a new early morning routine, or the criticism of family, coworkers, and acquaintances. The warrior mindset (an ideal of mental toughness) is something that has to be developed in every human being. A human being all-in on life doesn’t hesitate when asked if he wants the fight to go on. It may take a sense of purpose to get there. Having a why bigger than oneself is one of the keys to mental toughness. It will carry you through the hard times of life and fulfill you in the good ones. Maxim Dadashev knew his why, and he was willing to lose everything to get it.
Purpose isn’t only for those who live their lives in harm’s way. Today what reasons do you have to be strong?