DeAndre Ware isn’t just a fighter. He’s an EMT and firefighter from Ohio who put his skills to work outside the ring ahead of Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas.
Inside the MGM Grand Conference Center a half-hour before weigh-ins for his fight against Steven Nelson, Ware jumped into action when Pete Susens, a coordinator with Top Rank, suffered a suspected heart attack. Ware administered chest compressions and worked with the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s onsite doctor as they waited for additional help to arrive.
Susens was taken to a local hospital and is now responsive and communicating, according to Top Rank media relations director Evan Korn.
In a tweet, Ware said, “I’m here for my fight but I had to put EMS skills to work and do some cpr. Happy to say the guy was talking a bit and was alert headed to the hospital. I’m thankful! I feel I saved a life.”
Ware, 32, is married with three children and has boxed professionally for five years while being a full-time firefighter. He also played college football at the University of Toledo, primarily on special teams.
“I have to just get training in when I can on my days off,” Ware said ahead of the fight. “They have a workout facility there at the fire station, so I can train there. They have a punching bag and a treadmill and weights and stuff, so I can work out there.”
Saturday’s bout will be Ware’s first of the year. In his last fight on Aug. 23, 2019, he lost by eighth-round TKO against Vladimir Shishkin.