A 20-year-old college student is dead days after allegedly sustaining major injuries in a fraternity-sponsored “underground fight club” boxing match, and now, his friends are mourning his tragic and untimely death.
Nathan Valencia, a junior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), reportedly sustained fatal brain injuries and collapsed following a bout with a fellow fraternity member at Kappa Sigma‘s so-called “Fight Night” event.
According to KLAS 8 News Now in Las Vegas, Valencia was part of a group fraternity brothers who took part in the organization’s sponsored “Fight Night” back on November 19. He fought another boxer in what was described as the “main event” of the evening’s series of fights, and was allegedly seriously injured.
The competition, which raised proceeds to benefit a local youth boxing club in Las Vegas, was held at the Sahara Events Center in the city. It’s unclear exactly what happened in the ring, but Valencia allegedly “collapsed following the fight,” and was severely injured. He died several days later, on November 23, at Sunrise Medical Center — just four days before what would have been his 21st birthday.
Speaking to the news outlet about the situation, Valencia’s friend Joe Castro referred to the boxing event as an “underground fight club.” Castro further added that there were allegedly “no medical professionals or qualified referees” at the boxing match, explaining that a brawl occurred between a large group in the ring at the very end of the fight:
“While Nathan was just in the ring, like, laying there. It was ridiculous.”
Whoa. That certainly doesn’t sound good at all…
In a statement obtained by People, lawyers for the Valencia family from the Richard Harris Law Firm noted that the college student’s loved ones were understandably “heartbroken over the loss” of the young man. The attorneys added more in their statement, indicating they were already investigating the situation:
“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. ‘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 fraternity also released a statement mourning Valencia’s loss:
“Kappa Sigma Fraternity is greatly saddened by the loss of Nathan Valencia at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with the Valencia family and the entire UNLV community.”
And the school is now rushing to get ahead of the tragic situation, too.
UNLV President Richard Whitfield issued a university-wide email on Friday acknowledging the terrible incident, writing:
“We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own. Coping with the loss of life is always difficult, especially under these circumstances. UNLV is committing all available resources to review the incident and determine how off-campus events like these can be as safe as possible. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, and loved ones. I am sure words cannot describe their feeling of grief and emptiness. They are in our thoughts during this very difficult time. The Rebel community shares their loss.”
A GoFundMe account has already been set up to help the Valencia family deal with funeral expenses. You can support that fundraiser HERE.
Here’s more on Valencia’s death, and his friends’ acts of mourning to remember his life:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nathan’s family, friends, and loved ones during this trying time.
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