Nevada Boxing Panel Considers Involvement in Amateur Events After Death of Nathan Valencia

Nevada's boxing regulators are weighing whether to get involved in amateur boxing events in the wake of a University of Nevada, Las Vegas student's death last month at a fraternity charity boxing event.

The Nevada Athletic Commission plans to discuss possible oversight of such events on Monday during a convening of the five-member panel.

The November 19 charity boxing match was organized by the school's oldest fraternity, Kappa Sigma, which has hosted these events for at least 10 years without the commission's supervision. Nathan Valencia, 20, collapsed soon after the off-campus match and was transported to a hospital. He died four days later.

Valencia, a junior, had no prior boxing experience.

"We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own," UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield said in a statement.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and loved ones. I am sure words cannot describe their feeling of grief and emptiness," he added. "They are in our thoughts during this very difficult time."

The Clark County coroner confirmed that Valencia's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, NBC News reported. Las Vegas police said that even though the death "is tragic, the circumstances surrounding his death are not criminal, and no charges will be filed."

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) announced on November 29 that it had launched an investigation into the incident.

"The NSAC takes this tragedy seriously, and our hearts go out to Mr. Valencia's family and loved ones," Chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck said in a statement. "We will share further details on the investigation as they become available."

Under Nevada law, competitions that involve students and are held by schools, colleges, universities and associated organizations are exempt from the commission's oversight. Cloobeck declined to specify what recommendations may be brought up at the meeting.

UNLV Campus
Nevada’s boxing regulators are weighing whether to get involved in amateur boxing events in the wake of a University of Nevada, Las Vegas student’s death last month at a fraternity charity boxing event. Above, a UNLV student walks on campus on September 9, 2020. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The fraternity has been suspended by UNLV and its national organization pending investigations.

Cloobeck has said the commission, with authority over what state law calls "contests and exhibitions of unarmed combat," would have regulated promoting, permitting, weigh-ins, referee requirements and insurance. Medical care would have been required on-site.

Valencia's family, through their attorneys, have called for parties involved in the event to be held responsible for his death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.