Super middleweight contender Aidos Yerbossynuly was placed in a medically induced coma following a knockout loss Saturday night, one of his trainers confirmed to ESPN.
The Kazakh fighter was stopped in the 12th round by top prospect David Morrell in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card from The Armory in Minneapolis. After the loss, the Showtime telecast reported that Yerbossynuly was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Emanuel Savoy, Yerbossynuly's assistant trainer and one of the cornermen for the bout, said Sunday he was placed in the coma following surgery.
"Representatives of TGB Promotions and PBC are on the ground in Minneapolis with Aidos' team and we are monitoring the situation closely," a PBC spokesperson said in a statement. "Out of respect for he and his family's privacy, we can't share any details but we ask the boxing community to keep him in your thoughts and prayers."
Yerbossynuly had won all 16 of his professional bouts and was ranked as the No. 1 contender in the WBA's super middleweight rankings. Morrell (8-0, 7 KOs), a skilled Cuban prospect fighting out of Minneapolis, holds a secondary WBA title in the 168-pound division.
The scorecards and punch stats had the bout lopsided in Morrell's favor. Two judges had Yerbossynuly losing every round, while the other had a 108-101 scorecard entering the 12th. After initially celebrating the victory in the ring, Morrell quickly went over to help Yerbossynuly make his way to a stool in his corner.
Savoy said he wanted to stop the bout around the ninth or 10th round.
"I actually had the towel in my hand," Savoy said. "Aidos wanted to continue. His head coach (Kanat Orakbaev) wanted him to continue. He evaluated Aidos and said nothing was wrong with him."
At the beginning of the 12th round, Morrell knocked Yerbossynuly down with a straight left hand.
"He acknowledged the ref (referee Tony Weeks)," Savoy said. "He looked up and said, yes, he wanted to continue. As a corner, I think he still wanted to fight. He wanted to fight all the way to the end."
In the final minute of the round, Yerbossynuly was penalized one point for repeatedly holding Morrell, with Weeks unable to pry the two fighters apart at certain points. Less than 10 seconds after Weeks docked Yerbossynuly a point, Morrell picked up the knockout with a thundering right hook.
According to CompuBox, Morrell outlanded Yerbossynuly 237-82. Of the punches that Morrell landed, more than 70% of them were power punches to the head. Yerbossynuly was cut across the nose and had significant swelling in his right eye as he pressed forward and tried to finish the fight.
"The guy, he's strong," Morrell said in the postfight interview. "I respect him."
Before Saturday night, Yerbossynuly had not fought since September 2021, when he picked up a 10th-round knockout win over Lennox Allen. It was Yerbossynuly's first fight in the United States since he appeared in a minor fight card in 2017.
"He's a great guy," Savoy said. "I don't even want to talk about it no more because I'm sick to my stomach at this point. I just hope for a speedy recovery for Aidos."