A University of Las Vegas student has died of brain damage after fighting at a fraternity-sponsored “Fight Club” style event, according to reports.
Junior Nathan Valencia, 20, collapsed shortly after fighting in a boxing match during the “Kappa Sigma Fight Night” on November 19th. He died four days later, his family says KLAS.
From an Instagram flyer Posted weeks before the event by the fraternity, Valencia fought on the ‘main card’ of the night’s total nine fights. The proceeds were used to support Center Ring Boxing in Las Vegas.
Joe Castro, who told the media outlet that he was a longtime friend of Valencia, said he attended 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 step into the ring anyway. At one point during the fight, he collapsed and a brawl ensued.
“I saw no doctor, no doctor, nothing,” Castro said, supporting the family’s claims that safety precautions were tragically overlooked.
A boxing official told the outlet that the referee looked unprofessional, allowing the fight to continue as the crowd cheered and Valencia took hit after hit in the head.
“Losing someone so precious like that is difficult,” said Xavier De La Rosa, a friend from Valencia high school. “It should have been done correctly. It shouldn’t have been overlooked.
In a statement released on Friday, the Valencia family said they would conduct an investigation to determine how the UNLV and the Kappa Sigma fraternity could enable and promote an event like this.
“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 takes place annually and was well known to both the UNLV and the National Kappa Sigma Fellowship, according to reports.
“We will spare no effort to determine how a 20-year-old ended up in a school-sanctioned amateur fight that claimed his life. The family requested privacy during this time to mourn.
The Kappa Sigma fraternity offered “thoughts and prayers” to the Valencia family and the larger UNLV community, in a statement provided to KLAS.
UNLV President Keith Whitfield on Friday sent an email to the UNLV community, in which he distanced himself from the school, calling it “an off-campus event meant to raise money. funds”.
“Dealing with the loss of life is always difficult, especially under these circumstances,” Whitfield wrote. “The UNLV is committing all available resources to investigate 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.
The Valencia family has launched a GoFundMe to help cover medical and funeral expenses.