Politics

Authorities Said Death of Student After a Boxing Match Was Homicide


  • A Las Vegas college student died four days after he collapsed following a boxing match. 
  • The Clark County Coroner said Nathan Valencia, 20, died from blunt force head trauma. 
  • The coroner ruled Valencia’s death a homicide but police said no charges would be filed. 

The death of a University of Nevada Las Vegas student that collapsed following an amateur boxing match has been ruled a homicide, KLAS reported. 

Nathan Valencia, 20, was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was a part of the main event for the Kappa Sigma Fight Night on November 19. He collapsed following the fight and died four days later on November 23. 

The Clark County Coroner told Insider that Valencia’s cause of death was ruled as blunt force head trauma and the manner of death as a homicide.

In a press conference on Tuesday, The Nevada State Athletic Commission, the organization that regulates boxing in the state, said it has opened an investigation into the boxing match. 

“Our hearts go out to the Valencia family and loved ones,” Stephan J. Cloobeck, the commission’s chairman said.  

Cloobeck said the investigation would look into whether or not there were paramedics at the event and if the referee was licensed. However, he noted that the agency does not have the authority to sanction the event. 

In a statement to KLAS, Nick Lasso and Ryan Zimmer, the attorneys for Valencia’s family said: “We have confirmed from multiple sources that there were no paramedics or medical personnel of any kind at this event. We have also confirmed that participants in years past were knocked unconscious and so injured they required hospital attention.”

Lasso did not respond to Insider’s request for comment but told KLAS there is video footage of the referee drinking at the event. 

“It is unacceptable that the individual in charge of enforcing the rules of combat with the authority to stop a fight, would be impaired,” Lasso and Zimmer said.

A witness and friend of Valencia’s, Joe Castro, described the event as an “underground fight club.” Castro told KLAS that Valencia did not have any boxing experience. 

UNLV journalism student David Cruz told KLAS that the match was “just fighting. Like there was no, like, boxing involved in it. Everybody was hitting each other in the back of the heads.”

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police told Insider in a statement while homicide is defined as an “act of a human killing another person,” detectives will look at the surrounding facts to see if there is any criminality. 

“Although Mr. Valencia’s death is tragic, the circumstances surrounding his death are not criminal and no charges will be filed,” LVMP said. 

Valencia’s mother, Cynthia Valencia, told CNN she tried to talk her son out of participating but he was eager since the event was for charity.

A flyer for the event said proceeds would go to Center Ring Boxing, a local youth boxing club. Center Ring Boxing did not respond to Insider’s call for comment at the time of publication. 

Cynthia Valencia said her son told her that the event was for amateurs. “He was saying, ‘Mom, you worry too much. This is just a charity event,” she told CNN. 

His father, Michael Valencia, told CNN that he didn’t think there were any safety measures in place because if there were his son “would be in the house right now. He would be 21. We would be celebrating his birthday, having a good Thanksgiving.” 




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