New York, NY – Edelstein, Faegenburg & Brown LLP, a leading personal injury law firm, has called a press conference in front of Madison Square Garden at on Monday, calling for increased safety measures in Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to protect fighters on the heels of New York State’s largest personal injury settlement awarded to heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov.
Abdusalamov’s attorney Paul Edelstein successfully represented the former 18-0 heavyweight, professional boxer who suffered a major brain injury during a 10-round fight on Nov. 2, 2013. The press conference will follow this weekend’s big fight in Las Vegas between Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez.
On Friday, September 8, 2017, New York State agreed to pay Abdusalamov and his family $22 million for negligence by the New York State Athletic Commission (inclusive of NYSAC employees and representatives) in connection with that fight in Madison Square Garden. During the fight, Adbusalamov was hit with a quick left forearm to the face, which left him with trouble breathing out of his nose; he ended the fight with a bloody and swollen face.
He was cleared by New York Athletic Commission physicians and allowed to leave Madison Square Garden, after which he threw up and jumped in a cab to a nearby hospital. When he made it to the hospital, he underwent emergency surgery, suffered multiple strokes, was in a coma for weeks, and was hospitalized for more than 10 months, including in-patient rehab. Abdusalamov is now paralyzed on his right side and cannot walk; his speech is limited to mumbling.
“New York State has always said that they wanted to be at the forefront of boxing and MMA safety, but the changes to date are still not enough. Safety-specific legislation geared towards prevention of catastrophic injuries in boxing is still needed.” said Edelstein.
“In light of the resolution of the case and that we are no longer at odds with the State as litigants, we hope to join forces with them to make meaningful changes which will make combat sports safer.”
“The state passed legislation to bring MMA fights to NYC, and the Governor, who is possibly looking at a 2020 Presidential run, is looking to be a leader at the forefront of groundbreaking national legislation Lets seize the momentum he has started in the name of improved safety for combat sport participants by mandating that emergency medical standards be followed for all fighters during and after their bouts. Only by requiring acceptable standard of care evaluations for life-altering and life-threatening injuries will fighters have the same chance of prompt medical and surgical intervention. NYSAC should proactive by insisting that all fighters who sustain head blows should be treated as emergency patients until determined otherwise, as opposed to the current reactive system that waits until a problem develops before the alarm is sounded on placing that fighter in the proper scheme of care. So, on heels of Saturday’s Las Vegas fight, we are calling on New York State to push harder and for our national leaders to finally make one standard set of regulations for the safety and well-being of the athletes and all combat sports.”
“We are relieved that this has finally come to an end, but it doesn’t change what happened, and I would do anything and give anything to have Mago back to how he was before the fight, but that’s not the way the world works,” said Bakanay Abdusalamov, wife of Magomed. “We still love the sport, and we believe that is should continue, but safety regulations and guidelines must be implemented so that what happened to Mago doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
The $22 million settlement is the largest personal injury settlement ever paid out by New York State.