College student dies after fraternity’s amateur boxing match

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 1:31 AM EST
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Family members and loved ones of a Las Vegas college student are looking for answers after his death from injuries sustained during a fraternity’s amateur “Fight Night” event.

Instead of a party for his 21st birthday, friends and family of Nathan Valencia staged a candlelight vigil Saturday. Valencia, a University of Nevada Las Vegas student, died following a Nov. 19 charity boxing match, also known as “Fight Night,” hosted by the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Loved ones say they wanted Valencia, an active member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, to back out of the fight, but he insisted, saying he was doing it for a good cause.

Nathan Valencia, a University of Nevada Las Vegas student, died days before his 21st birthday...
Nathan Valencia, a University of Nevada Las Vegas student, died days before his 21st birthday after he collapsed following a charity boxing match hosted by the Kappa Sigma fraternity.(Source: KTNV via CNN)

Minutes after the fight ended, things took a tragic turn when Valencia collapsed.

“I watch as he sits down in his chair, tilts over and falls to the ground,” said one of Valencia’s closest friends in remarks at the vigil. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be there when you needed me most.”

Valencia was taken to the hospital, where doctors determined he was internally bleeding. His injuries were too severe, and he died days later on Nov. 23.

The Valencia family’s attorney, Nick Lasso, says medical help wasn’t available at the event. He also claims there was no professional referee.

“Our preliminary investigation reveals mistakes were made and safety precautions overlooked… 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,” reads a statement in part from Lasso on behalf of Valencia’s family.

Valencia’s organs were donated to eight different transplant recipients.

“He was the best person that anyone could have asked for. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” said Malcolm McGruder, Valencia’s fraternity brother.

The UNLV president expressed sympathy for Valencia’s family in a statement. He says the school is reviewing the incident to “determine how off-campus events like these can be as safe as possible.”

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police are also investigating.

Copyright 2021 KTNV via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.