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Home » Jeanette Zapata, 18, passes away after Marie-Pier Houle stoppage loss

Jeanette Zapata, 18, passes away after Marie-Pier Houle stoppage loss

Jeanette Zapata, an 18-year-old young married boxer, has tragically passed away following a knockout defeat to Marie-Pier Houle last week.

The bout happened on August 28, with Zapata subsequently taken to hospital after being stopped in the fourth round.

Zapata’s plight worsened throughout the next few days before promoter Yvon Michel announced what nobody wanted to hear.

“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,” said Michel.

“The entire team at Groupe Yvon Michel 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.”


Houle, a 31-year-old undefeated Canadian welterweight, released a statement the day after Zapata got hospitalized. She has since reacted to Zapata’s death.

“Yesterday’s events really upset me. Boxing carries a lot of risks and dangers. This is our job, our passion. Never, forever, intention to seriously hurt an opponent is part of my plans,” Houle said on August 29th.

“My most sincere thoughts are with my opponent Jeannette Zacarias Zapata and her family. I wish with all my heart that she gets well.”

Today, Houle asked for privacy following a second statement.

“Following the announcement of the terrible news of the death of Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, I am devastated,” she said.

Jeanette Zapata

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family and spouse, Jovanni Martinez.

“Thank you for respecting my desire not to comment more.

“The sad news of the departure of a great athlete like Jeanette Zacarias Zapata leaves me sad and devastated.

“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 boxing world again gets rocked with the news of a young competitor dying doing what they love. Calls for a blanket ban on the sport will undoubtedly come thick and fast following the loss of a teenage wife with her whole life ahead of her.

Repeatedly getting hit in the head is facing tighter restrictions in every other major sport in the world. Zapata’s crushing passing at such a young age could open up another fierce debate.

WBN would like to offer our condolences to Jeanette Zapata’s family and all involved in this awful situation.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.