Hague, 34, died Sunday after being taken off life support. He was knocked to the ground multiple times by Braidwood, a former Edmonton Eskimos football player, and was knocked out completely in the second round during their fight at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Although Hague eventually got up under his own power, he was soon rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors performed surgery to treat a brain injury.
Braidwood broke his silence today, first in a video posted on Twitter.
Braidwood also spoke in an emotional interview with Canada-based CTV News, holding back tears on multiple occasions.
“It’s not a good thing for anyone involved,” Braidwood said. “I want to keep the focus on Tim and his family, especially his son. They’re the real victims here. … Just keep it about them the best that you can, because I’m still alive.”
Braidwood, who called Hague a friend, said he had a bad feeling once the fight was stopped.
“I knew, man. I knew in the ring,” Braidwood said before pausing to gather himself. “I just saw the way he fell.”
He continued, “I waited on my knees for Tim to move after I did my stupid, little celebration. Like, I don’t care about that. People can say what they want. I waited on my knees. I watched him. I picked him up, because his team was struggling to pick him up. I carried him to the corner, and I could see in his face.”
Braidwood responded to journalists and critics on social media who believe the fight should’ve been stopped or not happened at all given Hague’s 1-3 professional boxing record against Braidwood’s 7-1 mark.
“What do they know? They don’t fight. He wanted to keep fighting,” Braidwood said. “Journalists, this, that, people who write stuff. They don’t know what they’re talking about. What kind of country-club lifestyle do they live, where they get to call the shots on what we do in there? …
“Tim wanted to keep fighting, and that’s what we do. If people have delusions about this sport, about what life is really like for someone like me, who has nothing else, they can walk in my shoes. I would’ve done the same thing. And he would’ve done the same thing to me, trust me.”
Braidwood said nobody is to blame for what happened.
“It’s nobody’s fault. It’s not the ref’s fault,” he said. “The ref asked. And if you’re conscious, and you’re collective, and you have your stuff together … I saw the video. Tim was still there. And he said he wanted to keep fighting, so that’s what happened. That’s just the truth. There’s no speculation about it. He wanted to keep fighting, so we kept fighting.”
EXCLUSIVE: Professional Boxer Adam Braidwood talks candidly about Tim Hague who passed away Sunday night.. Hague passed away from injuries he suffered after getting knocked out by Braidwood.
Posted by CTV News Channel on Monday, 19 June 2017
The city of Edmonton on Monday ordered a third-party review into the circumstances surrounding the fight. Hague had suffered knockout losses on four occasions in the previous 22 months before accepting the fight against Braidwood.
An online fundraiser for Hague’s funeral expenses today met its goal of $20,000. Hague, a teacher who earned a 1-4 UFC record, leaves behind 9-year-old son Brady.