Boxer Who Fought Off Bear to Save Friend Has Long Road to Recovery

by Taylor Cunningham

The 24-year-old Russian boxer who fought off a bear with only his hands and a knife has left the hospital. But he still has a long road to recovery ahead.

Last year, a massive brown bear attacked Ilya Medvedev and his friend Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Dudnik while the two were on a fishing trip. Unfortunately, Slava did not survive his injuries. But the young boxer managed to kill the animal, reported The Sun.

Initially, Ilya Medvedev tried to shoot the bear. But the animal charged him and knocked the gun out of his hands. So the boxer continued to fight for his life with only his fists and a knife.

After killing the bear, Medvedev was treated for severe injuries to his head and limbs. And for some time, he was left in a medically induced coma. He is now stable, but in the coming months, doctors will attempt extensive facial reconstructions as the injuries have left him unrecognizable.

A 2012 Olympic Champion Calls Boxer Who Fought Off Bear a ‘True Hero’

Recently, 2012 Olympic gold medalist boxer Egor Mekhontsev shared a picture alongside Medvedev on Instagram. And Mekhontsev believes that Medvedev is not only a “real fighter” but also a “real hero.” 

In his post, he gave fans details of the attack that nearly killed his friend.

According to the story, the bear immediately killed Slava and then turned its attention on Ilya Medvedev. And when the beast attacked, Medvedev nearly lost the fight.

“He was already under the bear and it mutilated him, trying to tear him apart,” Mekhontsev wrote. “Ilya had very few chances to survive… he survived on his own.”

Luckily, the boxer had a knife in his pocket and while “the bear tormented him,” he managed to find the knife and then stab the animal “several times.”

“As it turned out later, these were blows to the vital organs of the bear,” he continued. “The bear retreated and died not far from him.”

Another local fisherman, Denis Chebatar, was nearby when the bear attacked, and he heard the screams and gunfire from the dock.

He told a Russian news outlet that “[Medvedev] had time to shoot twice.” He “then obviously retreated, recharged, and made two more shots.”

“The fifth cartridge was not completely into the chamber,” Chebatar added. “He had no time.”

After Ilya Medvedev defeated the brown bear, Denis Chebatar dragged the “barely alive” man to his boat and took him to the nearest hospital.

The Tyumen Boxing Federation, which Medvedev fights through, is supporting its champion during his long recovery.

“We wish Ilya a speedy recovery, good health, good spirits, and peace of mind,” the federation said.