Death of Student Following UNLV Fraternity ‘Fight Night’ Ruled Homicide
Nathan Valencia was participating in the fundraising event which was hosted by a fraternity at an off-campus event center.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The death of a University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) student following an amateur boxing match hosted by a fraternity has been ruled a homicide.
Nathan Valencia, 20, died four days after participating in Kappa Sigma fraternity’s Fight Night, according to KTNV. The fundraiser event was hosted at the off-campus Sahara Events Center on Nov. 19. Valencia reportedly collapsed a few minutes after his match.
“Once I walked in there, I just had like a really weird feeling,” said Lacey Foster, Valencia’s girlfriend. “I remember in one of the fights, someone’s headgear fell off and then during Nathan’s fight, you could see that he was just trying to get away to catch a breath.”
Dan Kulin, a spokesperson for Clark County, confirmed the death has been ruled a homicide, but noted it means the death happened at the hands of another and does not necessarily denote a criminal act. Doctors determined Valencia was suffering from internal bleeding at some point during his hospital stay, reports CNN.
According to an online flyer, the event was a fundraiser for Center Ring Boxing, a Las Vegas-based organization that offers youth boxing programs for local children and their families. Valencia was one of the fighters participating in the “main event” although he had no prior boxing experience.
A statement from attorneys representing the Valencia family said the annual event “was well known to both UNLV and the national Kappa Sigma fraternity.” A press conference and weigh-in were held the day before at the UNLV Student Union Ballroom.
Attorney Nick Lasso alleged medical help was not available at the event and there was no professional referee.
“What we heard was he was laying on the floor waiting for paramedics for about 15 minutes because they didn’t have paramedics on standby at the site,” Valencia’s mother told CNN. “We have video showing the referee was drinking, as well as the judges, during the event.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said they “have investigated the licensing of the boxing charity event” and that “there is no information that there is any criminality in the part of the venue.”
Valencia was a member of UNLV’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and not Kappa Sigma.