18-Year-Old Boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata Dies After Sustaining Head Injuries in Fight Knockout
An 18-year-old boxer is dead after she was knocked unconscious during a match this weekend at IGA Stadium in Montreal.
Jeanette Zacarias Zapata sustained injuries to her brain while fighting Canada's Marie-Pier Houle on Saturday night, according to the Associated Press. Footage from the match showed the 18-year-old Mexican boxer being hit with a flurry of punches near the end of the fourth round, and Zapata appeared to convulse after 31-year-old Houle landed an uppercut that caused her mouthguard to fly out.
Zapata was attended to by her partner and trainer, Jovanni Martinez, and a medical team at the stadium took her to a local hospital where she was placed in a medically induced coma, the AP reported.
Her death was announced by event promoter Groupe Yvon Michel in a statement on Thursday night.
"It is with great sadness and torment that we have learned, from a representative of her family, that Jeannette Zacarias Zapata passed away this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.," the statement read.
"The entire team at Groupe Yvon Michel team is extremely distressed by this painful announcement. We would like to offer our most sincere condolences to her family, loved ones and especially her husband Jovanni Martinez who was at her bedside until her last moments," the statement continued.
Groupe Yvon Michel said Martinez was "devastated and extremely upset" after Zapata's death.
The CBC reported that Zapata had to go through neurological examinations before participating in the match after she was knocked out in a fight last May in Mexico.
In a private post to social media, Houle shared a message to Zapata's family after the fighter was taken to the hospital.
"Never, ever, is the intention of seriously injuring an opponent in my plans." she wrote, according to the CBC.
"My sincere thoughts go to my opponent, Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, as well as to her family," Houle added.