Jeanette Zacarias Zapata dead: Boxer, 18, dies five days after fight knockout


Teenage Mexican boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata dies, aged 18, five days after being knocked out in a fight and appearing to suffer a seizure in the ring in Montreal

  • Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, 18, has died five days after being knocked out in a fight
  • She was taken to hospital after the fight and placed in a medically induced coma 
  • Her death was confirmed by fight promoter Yvon Michel on Thursday 
  • Zapata’s opponent Marie Pier Houle has stated she’s been left ‘devastated’ 


Mexican boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata has died at the age of 18, five days after being knocked out in a professional fight. 

Zapata was knocked out in the fourth round against Marie Pier Houle on Saturday night at the GVM Gala International in Montreal. 

She suffered a series of power punches in the corner of the ring and was stunned by an uppercut towards the end of the fourth round, before a right hook caused her mouthguard to fly out, leaving her unable to return to the corner after the bell rang. 

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, 18, has died five days after being knocked out in a boxing fight

Zapata, who appeared to convulse while still standing, was joined by her partner and trainer Jovanni Martinez, who quickly laid her down in the ring. The on-site medical team rushed to her side and she was immobilized on a stretcher before being rushed to a hospital by ambulance.

Fight promoter Yvon Michel briefed on Sunday that Zapata had been placed in a medically induced coma, and confirmed her death on Thursday. 

‘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 pm,’ he wrote in a statement. 

‘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, friends and especially her husband Jovanni Martinez, who was at her bedside until her last moments.’ 

Zapata’s opponent Houle also expressed her condolences on social media, stating she has been left devastated.  

‘The sad news of the departure of a great athlete like Jeanette Zacarias Zapata leaves me sad and devastated,’ she wrote. 

‘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.’

The WBC also issued a statement, which read: ‘The president of the WBC, Mauricio Sulaimán and the entire boxing family affiliated with the WBC, as well as all boxing, mourns this irreparable loss.

‘We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jeanette. May she rest in peace.’

Quebec’s public safety minister Geneviève Guilbault said in a Tweet Friday morning that the Quebec coroner’s office will investigate the 18-year-old Mexican boxer’s death and the probable causes.

A GoFundMe page had been launched to help with Zapata’s medical expenses and recovery, with people donating close to $15,000 (£11,000) before her death was tragically confirmed.

Subdural haematomas: The deadly brain swelling that is killing boxers

A subdural haematoma is a condition where a blood vessel located between the skull and brain – in the subdural space – breaks, causing blood to pool there. It is usually the result of a traumatic head injury.

Because the blood is trapped by the skull it exerts pressure on the brain, causing brain damage.

Symptoms include dizziness, confusion, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Immediate surgery is required to treat the condition – with holes drilled into the skull to drain the bleed, or a section of the skull removed to relieve the pressure.

Even in cases where the patient survives the initial bleed, recovery can take years, and patients are often left with physical or mental disabilities. 

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