U. of Nevada Student Dies After Being Injured at Fraternity’s Amateur Boxing Event

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Nathan Valencia, 20, died connected Nov. 23 of encephalon injuries 4 days aft headlining a foundation boxing match, lawyers for his household said.

Nathan Valencia, right, died connected  Nov. 23, 4  days aft  this boxing lucifer  successful  Las Vegas.

Nov. 29, 2021, 8:17 p.m. ET

A 20-year-old pupil astatine the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, died of encephalon injuries past week, 4 days aft helium headlined an amateur boxing lucifer hosted by a fraternity and collapsed minutes aft the three-round bout, lawyers for the student’s household said.

The student, Nathan Valencia, a junior, died connected Nov. 23 astatine Sunrise Hospital successful Las Vegas, wherever helium was taken aft the combat astatine Sahara Events Center successful Las Vegas, the constabulary said. He would person turned 21 years aged connected Saturday.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said connected Monday that it had investigated the licensing of the foundation boxing lawsuit astatine which Mr. Valencia had been “critically injured” and determined that “there is nary accusation that determination is immoderate criminality connected the portion of the venue” and that the decease was not considered criminal. The Nevada Athletic Commission oversees “unarmed combat events” and those associated with promoting them, the constabulary said.

The Nevada Athletic Commission did not instantly respond to calls and emails connected Monday seeking comment.

The event, called Fight Night, is an yearly contented for the university’s Kappa Sigma fraternity section to rise wealth for charity. This year’s lucifer was held connected Nov. 19 and included students from different fraternities and sororities astatine the university.

Mr. Valencia was a subordinate of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the lawyers for his household said. They emphasized that the lawsuit was not a hazing.

In a connection issued done their lawyers connected Friday, Mr. Valencia’s household expressed heartbreak implicit his decease and announced their volition to analyse however the assemblage and its Kappa Sigma fraternity section allowed the boxing lucifer to beryllium held.

“College students should not beryllium placed successful a concern wherever they are pitted against each different for combat,” the connection said. “We volition permission nary chromatic unturned to find however a 20-year-old ended up successful a school-sanctioned amateur combat that outgo him his life.”

Mr. Valencia had nary anterior boxing acquisition and had ne'er participated successful a lucifer before, his family’s lawyers, Nick Lasso and Ryan Zimmer, said successful an interrogation connected Monday.


Credit...Valencia family

In a connection connected Friday, the president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Keith E. Whitfield, said that the assemblage was “committing each disposable resources to reappraisal the incidental and find however off-campus events similar these tin beryllium arsenic harmless arsenic possible.”

The assemblage connected Monday confirmed that Mr. Valencia had been a inferior majoring successful kinesiology, but declined to reply further questions.

The university’s website notes that implicit the past 2 years, the Kappa Sigma fraternity section had raised much than $45,000 done events similar Fight Night.

Video footage of the evening lucifer shows Mr. Valencia, clad successful reddish boxing headgear, achromatic boxing gloves and achromatic shorts, darting astir the ringing and fielding blows to his thorax and head. Less than 5 minutes aft the lucifer ended, Mr. Valencia collapsed, the family’s lawyers said, adding that exigency workers arrived much than 10 minutes later.

Mr. Valencia was pronounced encephalon dormant earlier his decease connected Nov. 23, his family’s lawyers said.

In an interrogation with CNN connected Monday, Cynthia Valencia, Mr. Valencia’s mother, questioned the grooming of the referee successful the lucifer successful which her lad had participated. She added that determination were nary paramedics connected standby for the match.

Ms. Valencia said she had asked her lad earlier the lucifer wherefore helium was billed arsenic the headliner, contempt his deficiency of acquisition successful the ring. He reassured her that each participants were amateur boxers, that helium would beryllium wearing headgear, and that helium would beryllium raising funds for charity, she said successful the interview.

Mitchell B. Wilson, the enforcement manager of Kappa Sigma, said connected Monday that the fraternity was “greatly saddened by the nonaccomplishment of Nathan Valencia astatine the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.” He did not respond to further questions astir Mr. Valencia’s death.

The university’s Kappa Sigma section did not instantly respond to requests for remark connected Monday.


Credit...Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review Journal

The Valencia household is seeking accountability for Nathan’s decease and “more than anything, wants to marque definite that this ne'er happens again,” Mr. Lasso said, adding that they believed that Fight Night had been held by the university’s Kappa Sigma section for astatine slightest a twelve years.

“We judge that passim the past 12 years determination person been assorted injuries that required aesculapian treatment,” Lasso said. “Our work is to beryllium capable to enactment an extremity to this.”

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