Las Vegas Student Dies After Suffering Brain Injuries at Fraternity's 'Underground Boxing Event'

A student at the University of Las Vegas lost his life after suffering brain injuries incurred during a boxing match at a fraternity 'Fight Night' event. The fraternity is said to have sponsored a 'Fight Club' style event during which Nathan Valencia, 20, collapsed. The incident took place on November 19. Valencia died four days later, his family told KLAS. His family also alleged that safety precautions were overlooked during the boxing match.

An Instagram flyer advertising the said event noted that Valencia fought on the 'main card' of the event's nine total bouts. The proceeds from the event were meant to support Ring Boxing in Las Vegas. A long-time friend of Valencia's, Joe Castro told the outlet that he witnessed the boxing match which mirrored an 'underground fight club.'

According to Castro, Valencia had no prior boxing experience but he got in the ring anyway. He also alleged that there were no doctors present during the event. A boxing official informed that the referee seemed unprofessional as he didn't stop the match even after Valencia suffered blow after blow to his head. 'Kappa Sigma Fight Night' is an event that is reportedly held annually well-within the knowledge of both UNLV and the national Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

Nathan Valencia
Nathan Valencia Screen grab - KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas

Nathan Valencia's family demands an investigation

According to KLAS, Natan Valencia's family demanded an investigation on how the UNLV and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity allowed an event like that in the first place. They argued that students should be placed in a position where they are 'pitted to combat against each other.' "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," a statement by Valencia's family said.

'It was an off-campus event intended to raise money'

UNLV president Keith Whitfield in an email to the UNLV community and called it an 'off-campus event' intended to raise money. He further noted in his email that the university is reviewing how it can ensure maximum safety in similar off-campus events. The incident is being investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Valencia's family has set up GoFundMe page to help fund medical and funeral expenses.

This article was first published on November 28, 2021