British brain injury advocacy association Headway has again called for boxing to be banned following the death of Mexican teenager Jeanette Zacarías Zapata after a fight in Canada last weekend.
The 18-year-old welterweight was knocked out in the fourth round against Marie Pier Houle at the GVM International Gala in Montreal on Saturday after she appeared to suffer seizures.
A statement from the promoters announced that he had subsequently died in hospital on Thursday.
“It is impossible to imagine the pain that the husband and family of such a young woman feel with her entire life ahead of her,” said Peter McCabe, Headway’s chief executive, in a statement. “Our thoughts are with everyone who loved her.”
“This tragedy was avoidable. This precious life should not have been cut short.”
Headway and other organizations recently contributed evidence to a British Parliament inquiry into concussions in sport and asked why boxing is not under “more scrutiny”.
“We asked, if parliamentary committees and sports bodies are considering prohibitions or limits on heading soccer balls, why do we continue to allow people to repeatedly hit each other on the head with great force?” McCabe said.
“We explain the consequences – as we have repeatedly for decades – and yet no one seems willing to address the clear, obvious and unacceptable dangers of boxing.”
“Make no mistake: this tragedy will repeat itself over and over again until boxing is banned.”
The Groupe Yvon Michel, promoter of the match, expressed in a statement its distress over the painful announcement.
“We want to offer our sincere condolences to her family, her loved ones, her friends and especially her husband Jovanni Martínez, who was by her bedside until her last moments.”
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