College Student Dies From Brain Injury After Fighting in Fraternity's Charity Boxing Match

Junior Nathan Valencia, 20, died following Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Fight Night, an event intended for charity that took place in Las Vegas.

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A University of Nevada student died just days after a fraternity boxing match, allegedly from injuries he sustained during a fight, People reports.

Junior Nathan Valencia, 20, died after taking part in Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Fight Night, an event intended for charity that took place at the Sahara Events Center in Las Vegas. Proceeds were to benefit youth boxing club Center Ring Boxing. Valencia collapsed after the fight due to fatal brain injuries and eventually passed away on Nov. 23, four days before his 21st birthday.

“Our preliminary investigation reveals mistakes were made and safety precautions overlooked,” a statement from Valencia’s family lawyers said. “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.”

The attorneys concluded that they’d “leave no stone unturned to determine how a 20-year-old ended up in a school-sanctioned amateur fight that cost him his life.”

In another statement, Kappa Sigma Fraternity said it is “saddened” by the loss and sending thoughts and prayers to the student’s family. Joe Castro, a friend of Valencia, told 8 News Now that medical professionals were not present at the event, and that a brawl broke out while Valencia collapsed. 

Valencia’s girlfriend, Lacey Foster, told Fox 5 that she was at the match and was in “shock that this could happen from an event that was supposed to be for charity.” 

“We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” UNLV President Richard Whitfield wrote in a university-wide email. “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.”

A GoFundMe for Valencia’s family, with a goal of $100,000, has already raised over $50,000 since being set up last week. 

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