Kazakhstan boxer Aidos Yerbossynuly has been placed in a coma after a 12th round knockout in his WBA “regular” super middleweight world championship fight against Cuban David Morrell.

It was a courageous performance from Yerbossynuly, a previously undefeated 16-0 fighter who was the mandatory challenger for the title in Morrell’s third defence of the belt.

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Morrell had called the finish, putting his hands under his head to tell Yerbossynuly he was going to put him to sleep, landing a brutal right uppercut to leave the challenger flat on his back.

The referee immediately called over the Kazakh’s team after waving the fight off as the 30-year-old appeared unstable as he leapt straight back to his feet.

However, it was revealed he had been placed in a medically induced coma following surgery, due to bleeding on the brain, boxing reporter Dan Rafael reported.

“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.”

The result was heading for a lopsided win for Morrell, who had won every round on two cards, and was up 108-101 at the start of the 12th.

Morrell celebrated the win but went to Yerbossynuly’s aid to help him back onto his stool.

Yerbossynuly’s assistant trainer Emanuel Savoy admitted he wanted the bout to finish in the ninth or tenth round but the fighter wanted to fight it out.

“I actually had the towel in my hand,” Savoy said via ESPN. “Aidos wanted to continue. His head coach (Kanat Orakbaev) wanted him to continue. He evaluated Aidos and said nothing was wrong with him.

“He acknowledged the ref (referee Tony Weeks). 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.

“He’s a great guy. 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.”

Morrell’s trainer Ronnie Shields said he was in disbelief Yerbossynuly’s team hadn’t protected the fighter.

“That fight should’ve been stopped sooner,” Shields told BoxingScene.com.

“They let this kid take way too much punishment. But even the referee, and Tony Weeks is a really good ref, but sometimes you’ve gotta go to the corner and say, ‘Hey man, y’all need to stop this.’ And that’s when (Yerbossynuly) started fighting dirty, because he didn’t wanna get knocked out.”

“It was all pride. I commend the guy for taking all that punishment, but you’ve gotta save guys from themselves. He took way too many punches. And you know what? This kid might never be able to fight again. That’s how bad it was.”

The “regular” title is seen as the lesser of the two WBA world title, with the “super” title seen as the more prestigious. Currently the “super” super middleweight title is held, like all the other super middleweight titles, by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

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