Female boxer, 18, ‘fighting for life’ after KO leaves her in critical condition

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A teenage boxer remains in a critical condition in a coma after she collapsed in the aftermath of losing by knockout in her bout in Montreal on Saturday night.

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, 18, had to endure a flurry of powerful punches from opponent Marie-Pier Houle towards the end of the fourth round, and after the bell sounded referee Albert Paduano Junior immediately checked on the Mexican fighter before calling time on the contest.

Initially, it looked a precautionary call but moments later, Zapata began having convulsions and her trainer Jovanni Martinez laid her down on the ring.

The medical team on site quickly rushed to her aide and she was placed on a stretcher and taken to the ambulance, which took her to hospital. Doctors have since described her condition as critical but stable.

The Mexican boxer was fighting in her sixth professional bout at the GYM Gala event in Canada, where she was taking on hometown fighter Houle.


"She didn’t regain consciousness," the event's promoter, Yvon Michel, said afterwards

"She was sedated in order to rest her body and her brain. The doctors didn’t give her much of a chance initially, but they find her situation has improved a lot.

"The next two to five days will be critical and she will be kept sedated for that period.

"The next six weeks will then be critical in determining if there is damage and how much damage it has."

Michel added that Zapata's boyfriend and trainer are with her in Montreal, and are in contact with her family back in Mexico.

On Sunday, messages of support began flooding in on social media, with Scottish boxer Hannah Rankin tweeting: "Let’s keep Jeanette Zacarias Zapata in our thoughts and prayers so that she makes a full recovery after last nights fight."

@Mandyreydelbox said: "She needs our prayers as she is fighting for her life in Canada after her fight against Marie-Pier Houle. Take a moment today to pray for this young girl who is in critical condition."

Her opponent Houle, 31, began to celebrate her fourth professional win in the ring before realising the severity of the situation.

"This is not the thing you want to see," she said.

"I was definitely going for the knockout, but I would have preferred her to come out on her feet, not lying on a stretcher.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes well."

  • Boxing

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