18-year-old boxer dies after match in Montreal, Quebec coroner to investigate

·2 min read
Jeanette Zapata, an 18-year-old Mexican boxer, was knocked unconscious during last Saturday's fight in Montreal. (jeanetteg_zz/Instagram - image credit)

A young Mexican boxer has died, days after being knocked unconscious during a match in Montreal and being taken away in a stretcher, the event's promoter has confirmed.

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, 18, was taking part in the GYM Gala International Boxing event at the IGA stadium in Montreal's Jarry Park on Saturday night.

She was fighting Quebec boxer Marie-Pier Houle, but fell unconscious at the end of the fourth round of a six-round fight.

The event's promoter, Groupe Yvon Michel, announced Zapata's death on social media late Thursday, saying she died at around 3:45 p.m.

"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," the statement said.

"Jovanni is devastated and extremely upset."

Late Thursday evening, Zapata's opponent took to social media to share a brief statement in both French and Spanish.

"I am devastated," Houle wrote.

"I offer my most sincere condolences to her family and her husband Jovanni Martinez."

On Friday morning, Geneviève Guilbault, the province's public security minister, also shared condolences online while announcing the Quebec coroner's office will investigate the "probable causes and the circumstances" of the Mexican boxer's death.

Zapata had undergone neurological exams to get permission to participate in the Montreal fight because she was knocked out in a match last May in Mexico, Yvon Michel said earlier this week.

During the fight, Houle struck Zapata with a left uppercut and then delivered a right hook, jolting her opponent's mouthguard.

Unable to recover after the bell rang, Zapata went into convulsions. Her trainer, on-site paramedics and a doctor assigned to the event rushed to help her.

Last weekend, soon after the match, Houle expressed 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."

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