Female Boxer Dies As Result of Injuries Sustained in Match

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata
Mexican female professional boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata died on Thursday in Montreal from injuries sustained in a match last Saturday. Zapata, who was just 18, had taken several hard punches in the fourth round of her bout against Marie Pier Houle. She was unable to walk back to her corner at the end of the round and began to convulse before being transported to Sacré-Coeur-de-Montréal hospital where she was placed in a medically-induced coma.

According to historian Joseph Svinth, who maintains the world's most comprehensive database of boxing fatalities dating back to the 18th century, this is just the second known incident of a woman dying as the result of injuries sustained in a professional boxing match. Phindile Mwelase died following a pro match in South Africa in 2014. In 2005 in Colorado Becky Zerlentes became the first woman to die as the result of a sanctioned amateur match. There had been deaths in unsanctioned bouts prior to this. Female fatalities in boxing have been much rarer than male deaths in part because of the shorter duration and lesser number of rounds but also because, until recent years, there have been far fewer female boxing matches than men's matches.

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