18-Year Old Boxer Dies After Being Knocked out During Fight

An 18-year-old boxer died after being knocked out during a match at IGA Stadium this weekend, according to the Associated Press. Jeanette Zacarias Zapata was knocked unconscious and sustained injuries to her brain while fighting Marie-Pier Houle from Canada on Saturday night. Video footage of the incident can be seen on Twitter, which shows Zapata getting hit with a flurry of punches near the end of the fourth round. The Mexican native appeared to convulse after she was hit with an uppercut. 

Zapata was taken to a local hospital where she was placed in a medically induced coma. “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 from event promoter Yvon Michel read, as transcribed by PEOPLE. “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.”

According to the CBC, Zapata underwent neurological exams to get permission to participate in the fight since she was knocked out in a match last May in Mexico. Houle went to social media to reveal a statement. “I am devastated,” Houle wrote. “I offer my most sincere condolences to her family and her husband Jovanni Martinez.” 

Shortly after the match, Houle expressed her concern for Zapata “Never, ever, is the intention of seriously injuring an opponent in my plans.” she wrote on social media. “My sincere thoughts go to my opponent, Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, as well as to her family. I wish with all my heart that she will recover.”

The magazine Boxing News also released a statement on Zapata’s death. “We are deeply saddened to learn of Mexican welterweight Jeanette Zacarias Zapata’s death,” the statement read. “The 18-year-old died five days after suffering a stoppage defeat to Marie Pier Houle at the GVM Gala International in Montreal. Our thoughts are with her family and friends. Rest in peace.” According to her bio on BoxRec, Zapata competed in six boxing matches and won her first two fights via unanimous decision. 

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