University student dies after fraternity 'fight night' boxing match
He passed away four days after taking part in the off-campus fight
A university student from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has died after he collapsed during a fraternity charity boxing match.
Nathan Tyler Valencia took part in the annual 'Fight Night' run by fraternity Kappa Sigma, at Sahara Events Centre, on November 19.
Despite having no previous boxing experience, the 20-year-old took part in the 'main event' fight, according to his family's attorney, Nick Lasso.
He died in hospital four days later (November 23), just four days before his 21st birthday.
The president of the university, Keith Whitfield, wrote in a letter to the rest of the campus community that Valencia collapsed "soon after his fight."
The letter continued: "We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own. 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.
"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. The Rebel community shares their loss."
Whilst a cause of death has yet to be confirmed, CNN reports that doctors determined he was suffering from internal bleeding at some point during his hospital stay.
In an emotional post on social media, Valencia's girlfriend Lacey Foster paid tribute to the student.
Foster told 13 Action News that her boyfriend passed out around five minutes after the fight.
A statement shared on behalf of Valencia’s family read: "The Valencia family is heartbroken over the loss of Nathan. 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. ‘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.
"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."
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has opened an investigation into the student's death.
On November 27, the university held a vigil in Valencia's memory and a fundraising page has been set up to raise money for Valencia's family as well, with more than $55,000 having been donated at the time of writing.