Monday, 24 Jan 2022

Student, 20, dies during ‘off-campus’ Fight Club fundraising event

A 20-year-old student has died after taking part in a Fight Club-style event.

University of Las Vegas student Junior Nathan Valencia collapsed after his boxing battle at the Kappa Sigma Fight Night on November 19.

He died in hospital four days later, after taking part in the main card, nine bout card which raised money for Center Ring Boxing in the city.

Friend Joe Castro told local KLAS news that the event was like “an underground fight club” and that Valencia had no boxing experience at all.

He said: "I saw no medical, no doctors, nothing.

"Nathan was just in the ring like laying there – it was ridiculous."

This is also a claim the family has made, stating that safety precautions were "tragically overlooked", and other sources have claimed that the referee did not "appear professional", the New York Post reports.

At some point during the fight, Valencia took a direct shot to the head, but the referee allowed it to continue.

In a statement, Valencia’s family said that an investigation to determine how the university and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity could have given permission for such an event to take place.

According to local reports, the event is held annually, and is "well known" in the area.

A family spokesman said: "The Valencia family is heartbroken over the loss of Nathan. Our preliminary investigation reveals mistakes were made and safety precautions overlooked.

"We will be completing a full investigation to determine how UNLV and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity could allow and promote an event like this to take place.

"College students should not be placed in a situation where they are pitted against each other for combat.

"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 fraternity offered its "thoughts and prayers" to the family, and UNLV president Keith Whitfield emailed anyone associated with the university to distance itself from the event, stating that it was an "off-campus event intended to raise money".

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident and Valencia’s family has launched a GoFundMe to help cover medical and funeral expenses.

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