Jeanette Zacarias Zapata
Photo: UPI

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, a Mexican boxer was severely injured from traumatic brain damage. It happened in a boxing contest held Saturday night in Montreal. After 5 days of fighting in a coma, she died on Thursday at Montreal Sacred Heart Hospital only at the age of 18.

The incident occurred at the women’s welterweight undercard of the Kim Clavel-Maria Soledad Vargas main event held at the IGA Stadium. GYM at Montreal’s IGA stadium organized this part of the gala. Zapata suffered from a series of power punches by Marie-Pier Houle in the corner of the ring. Then after a solid uppercut, the Mexican seemed unconscious near the end of the fourth round.

ESPN and DAZN reported this news and confirmed it in a statement by Canadian promoter Yvon Michel.

“It is with great sadness and torment that we learned, from a representative of her family, that Jeanette Zacarias Zapata passed away this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. The entire team at Groupe Yvon Michel is extremely distressed by this painful announcement,” GYM said in a statement published on social media.“We would like to offer our most sincere condolences to her family, loved ones, friends, and especially her husband Jovanni Martinez who was at her bedside until her last moments.”

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“At first, the doctors wanted to know if she could be stabilized enough so that they could proceed with surgery,” Michel said in a press conference held Sunday. “On the contrary, the condition of her brain has improved to the extent that an operation is no longer necessary.”

Michel also confirmed the statement, Martinez, Zapata’s partner,  who also fought on the same card Saturday night, would not comment on his spouse.

“Jovanni is devastated and extremely upset,” the statement continued. “Under the circumstances, he does not wish to comment, therefore we ask that you respect his decision and allow the family to have their privacy.”

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Houle also gave her statement on Facebook, saying that she was very sad to hear about Zapata’s passing.

“Following the announcement of the terrible news of the death of Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, I am devastated,” she wrote, “I extend my deepest condolences to her family and spouse Jovanni Martinez. Thank you for respecting my desire not to comment more.

“The sad news of the departure of a great athlete like Jeanette Zacarias Zapata leaves me sad and devastated. I offer my sincere and deep condolences to her family and husband Jovanni Martinez. May God enlighten your soul and receive it in His Glory.”

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Brain injury association calls for ban on boxing

After the death of Zapara, the Brain injury association called for a ban on boxing.

“It is impossible to imagine the grief being felt by the husband and family of such a young woman with her entire life ahead of her,” Peter McCabe, chief executive of Headway, said in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to all who loved her.”

“This tragedy was preventable. This precious life need not have been cut short.”

Headway and other organizations also asked if Parliamentary committees and sports bodies are considering bans or limits on heading footballs. They also said that the tragedy will be repeated time and time again.


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