A student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, died after participating in a boxing charity event known as “Fight Night,” organized by one of the school's fraternities.
Nathan Valencia, 20, collapsed after the fight and was taken to the hospital where he died due to brain injuries, according to a statement from UNLV’s President Keith E. Whitfield, shared with NBC News.
one of my old friends from vegas passed away at a charity boxing event. anything helps, rest easy nathan _ https://t.co/3YedBe91Ww— sarah lugor! (@sarahlugor)
Valencia was a part of the “main event” for Kappa Sigma fraternity’s “Fight Night,” which consists of an “undercard, co-main event, and main event,” where students pay for entry tickets to watch the fighters for the night participate in boxing matches.
All proceeds made from the event benefit Center Ring Boxing, a youth boxing club, according to a post from the fraternity on Instagram. The event has taken place for years with no casualties and is highly recognizable to UNLV students. It is understood that students that sign up for the event as a fighter, sign up under their own will.
“We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own," Whitfield said.
"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," he added.
Whitfield ensured that the school will make off-campus events “as safe as possible” moving forward.
Valencia’s family is working with attorney’s Nick Lasso and Ryan Zimmer, of the Richard Harris Law Firm, to investigate the incident. A statement from the attorney says that “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," the statement read.
UNLV and Whitfield are fully cooperating to make all resources available for the investigation.
"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 statement added.