Nathan Valencia UNLV student dies after fraternity boxing match as family now seek answers as to how the fight was organized and allowed to go on.
Junior Nathan Valencia, 20, collapsed shortly after taking part in a charity boxing match at the ‘Kappa Sigma Fight Night,’ on Nov. 19. He died four days later his family told KLAS.
According to an Instagram flyer posted weeks before the event by the fraternity, Valencia fought on the ‘main card’ of the night’s nine total bouts. Proceeds were to support Center Ring Boxing in Las Vegas.
‘Come out and support your favorite fighters or just have a good time watching the smack downs of the year,’ the event flyer advertised.
Five minutes into the fight, Nathan Valencia, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors confirmed the college junior was suffering from internal bleeding and brain injuries after being severely hurt in the fight. Valencia passed away on November 23, just days before his 21st birthday.
Fraternity inclusion at any cost?
Joe Castro, who told the outlet he is a longtime friend of Valencia’s, said he witnessed the boxing match at the Sahara Event Center in Las Vegas, describing it ‘like an underground fight club.’
Castro said Valencia had no boxing experience, but decided to get in the ring anyway, because he was ‘committed to raising money for a good cause.’
‘I saw no medical, no doctors, nothing,’ Castro said, backing up the family’s claims that safety precautions were overlooked.
A boxing official told KLAS the referee did not appear professional, allowing the fight to continue as the crowd cheered and Valencia took blow after blow to the head.
‘To lose someone so precious like that, it’s hard,’ Valencia’s high school friend Xavier De La Rosa told KLAS. ‘It should have been done correctly. It shouldn’t have been overlooked.’
In a statement on Friday, Valencia’s family said it would be conducting an investigation to determine how UNLV and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity could allow and promote an event like this to take place.
‘Our preliminary investigation reveals mistakes were made and safety precautions overlooked,’ the statement read.
Who bears culpability?
‘College students should not be placed in a situation where they are pitted against each other for combat. ‘Kappa Sigma Fight Night’ is an event that has been held annually and was well known to both UNLV and the national Kappa Sigma Fraternity.’
‘We will leave no stone unturned to determine how a 20-year-old ended up in a school-sanctioned amateur fight that cost him his life. The family has asked for privacy during this time to grieve.’ the statement concluded.
The Kappa Sigma Fraternity offered ‘thoughts and prayers’ to the Valencia family and the greater UNLV community, in a statement provided to KLAS.
UNLV president Keith Whitfield emailed the UNLV community on Friday, in which he distanced the school from, calling it ‘an off-campus event intended to raise money.’
‘Coping with the loss of life is always difficult, especially under these circumstances,’ Whitfield wrote. ‘UNLV is committing all available resources to review the incident and determine how off-campus events like these can be as safe as possible.’
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident according to Channel 13 Las Vegas.
Valencia’s family has launched a GoFundMe to help cover medical and funeral expenses.
The student’s organs have since been donated to eight different people.