UNLV student dies after taking part in fraternity boxing match

A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student died of brain injuries after he took part in a boxing match held by a fraternity to raise money for charity.

The student, Nathan Valencia, 20, died from brain injuries he sustained after he took part in Kappa Sigma fraternity’s Fight Night on Nov. 19. He died four days later.

An Instagram post by the fraternity lists Valencia's match as the “main event.” The Fight Night took place off-campus, the university's president, Keith E. Whitfield, said in a statement.

Nathan Valencia. (Courtesy Richard Harris Law Firm)

“Soon after his fight, Nathan collapsed and was taken to a hospital. We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” Whitfield said in the statement.

He said the university would make all resources available so the incident can be reviewed. He said the school will look at how off-campus events 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,” Whitfield said.

Valencia's family are heartbroken, and “mistakes were made and safety precautions overlooked” during the boxing match, they said in a statement issued through lawyers Nick Lasso and Ryan Zimmer of the Richard Harris Law Firm.

“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,” the statement said.

Fight Night takes place every year, the statement said. Proceeds benefit Center Ring Boxing, a youth boxing club, the fraternity said on Instagram.

“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 family's statement said.

A vigil was held Saturday night on what would have been Valencia's 21st birthday, NBC affiliate KSNV reported.

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