20-year-old Fil-Am student dies in ‘charity’ Vegas boxing match


A 20-YEAR-OLD Filipino-American student died after participating in an amateur boxing “fight night” in Las Vegas.

The victim is identified as Nathan Tyler Valencia, a student of University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Valencia collapsed five minutes after the fight with his opponent, Emmanuel Aleman, in what was dubbed as the main event for the “Kappa Sigma Fight Night” at the Sahara Events Center.

Four days later, he died.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, the organization that regulates boxing in Las Vegas, said it has launched an investigation on the boxing event staged as a charity fundraiser fraternity Kappa Sigma Fraternity last November 19.

The Clark County Coroner’s office ruled his death as homicide, due to blunt force trauma to the head.

The family and their lawyers cried for justice.

“We intend to hold someone or multiple parties responsible,” lawyers for Nathan Valencia’s family said.

They pointed out that there was no medical staff on standby who could have helped Valencia immediately after he collapsed.

The referee overseeing the fight is also not a professional who could have stopped the fight when Valencia turned his back on his opponent, the lawyers said.

A video of the event, aired by KLAS 8 TV in Las Vegas, showed that the referee appeared to be drinking beer during the match. The parents also told CNN they have video showing that even the judges were drinking during the match.

“Our preliminary investigation reveals 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 family said in a statement released by their lawyers.

Las Vegas media tried to get hold of the fraternity for reaction but were only given this statement.

“Kappa Sigma Fraternity is greatly saddened by the loss of Nathan Valencia at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with the Valencia family and the entire UNLV community,” the statement said.

UNLV president Keith Whitfield wrote to the campus community saying UNLV is “committing all available resources to review the incident and determine how off-campus events like these can be as safe as possible.”

Valencia’s mom, Cynthia, told CNN that she tried to dissuade her son from joining the match because she knows he is not trained for boxing.

“I told him, ‘You have to back out.’ and he said ‘No mom, this is for charity. So I kept asking him, ‘Are you gonna be protected? Are you gonna wear a head gear? ‘He said,’ Yes, of course. This is for charity,’” Cynthia told CNN.

“So he kept on saying, ‘Mom you worry, too much. This is just a charity event.’ Then I come to find out that he is gonna be the main event, so I was like ‘How this happened?’ and he kept telling us that this is for people who have no prior boxing experience coz he was never a boxer,” Cynthia added to CNN.

Michael Valencia, the father of the victim, said his son should have turned 21 last November 27 had it not for the negligence of the organizers in following the protocol in holding boxing events.

The Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, which has jurisdiction in Nevada, said they monitored this case from the media in the US and made inquiries.

“So far, we have not received any reports yet about the incident,” Consul General Edgardo Badajos said. “We are waiting for further information from our contacts in Las Vegas.”

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