NEW YORK -- The neurosurgeon attending to heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov, who sustained life-threatening injuries in a Nov. 2 bout at Madison Square Garden Theater, has told ESPNNewYork.com that the Russian-born boxer will not fight again despite his condition improving.
"He's going to get better, I'm confident," Dr. Rupendra Swarup said Wednesday, "but he will not be the same. He's going to have neurological deficits."
Abdusalamov, who was put in a medically induced coma following brain surgery to remove a blood clot suffered the night of the bout, is no longer comatose, can open his eyes and can breathe on his own.
The 32-year-old, known as "Mago," was hurt in a 10-round faceoff with Mike Perez in a clash of heavyweight prospects vying to rise to contender status. Abdusalamov will be taken from Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan to a rehabilitation facility in New Jersey as early as Thursday.
"When the patient came in, he was almost dead," said Swarup, the director of the neurosurgical intensive care unit at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. "From that point of view, he's come a very long way."
Married and the father of three daughters, Abdusalamov reacts with his eyes when someone shows him video of his girls on a phone, his brother, Abdusalam, said Wednesday.
Russian boxing promoter Andrey Ryabinsky will foot the bill for at least two months of rehab, said Nathan Lewkowicz, the son of Abdusalamov's promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, in addition to covering the hospital bills.
"Rehab is $3,000 a day," Nathan Lewkowicz said. "Ryabinsky is stepping up and helping out the family."
Abdusalam Abdusalamov said the tragedy has been hard on the entire family and that their parents have been heavily affected by the events. Of Mago, the brother said, via an app on his phone that translated Russian to English, "He very much loves his daughters; he never imagined himself in such a situation. He always said boxing is his life."