LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Instead of blowing out candles on what would have been his 21st birthday, family and friends of Nathan Valencia carried them close to their hearts at a vigil that was held Saturday night.
Valencia participated in a charity boxing event on Nov. 19 called “fight night” hosted by the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Loved ones told 13 Action News they wanted him to back out of the fight, but he insisted, saying he was doing it for a good cause.
Valencia stepped into the ring and minutes after the fight finished, things took a tragic turn.
“I watched as he sat down in his chair, tilted over, and fell to the ground,” said one of his closest friends.
The Valencia family’s attorney Nick Lasso said medical help wasn’t available. He added there was no professional referee.
“Our preliminary investigation reveals mistakes were made and safety precautions overlooked. 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,” Lasso said.
Valencia was taken to sunrise hospital after he collapsed. Doctors determined he was internally bleeding and his injuries were too severe.
However, he passed away on Nov. 23.
“He was the best person that anybody could ever ask for. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” said Malcolm McGruder, Valencia’s fraternity brother.
Valencia's organs were donated to eight people.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reports it is currently investigating the case.