As a boxer, DeAndre Ware puts his life on the line every time he steps in the ring. On Friday, Ware, a veteran 168-pounder, had to save a life outside of it.
Ware, who will face Steven Nelson on Top Rank’s ESPN-televised show on Saturday, was getting his medical checks done on Friday afternoon when he noticed a commotion on the other side of the room. Pete Susens, a coordinator with Top Rank, had collapsed. Ware, a Toledo firefighter, immediately went to the scene to assist the doctors.
"I asked them if they want me to start compressions," Ware told SI in a telephone interview. "As I did them, he started to breathe. The doctor told me they could feel his pulse with my compressions."
Ware, a certified EMT, says he could tell immediately that Susens was in trouble. "His skin was pale, his pupils were dilated," Ware said. When Ware stopped compressions, doctors used a defibrillator to shock Susens heart. Ware then resumed compressions to continue getting oxygen to Susens brain.
After a few minutes, EMTs arrived and took over. Ware gave them a report and returned to his room, with Susens "starting to come around a little" when he left. While Ware isn’t accustomed to offering life saving measures in a boxing environment, he says he deals with situations like that "just about every tour" as a firefighter.
On Saturday, Ware (13-2-2) will be part of the co-main event against Nelson (16-0) on a show headlined by Jamel Herring’s 130-pound title defense against Jonathan Oquendo. Ware, though, says he isn’t banking on any good karma.
"I’m not counting on that," Ware said. "I put in the work. I’m going to do what it takes to win."