Skip to content
Home » WBC President says boxing must learn from Jeanette Zapata tragedy

WBC President says boxing must learn from Jeanette Zapata tragedy

World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman addressed some of the issues surrounding the death of tragic Jeanette Zapata in his weekly round-up of news.

Sulaiman pointed out that the last seven days had been challenging for everyone involved as a teenager died days after a contest.

Pointing to a six-month suspension laid down to Zapata from her last knockout in May, Sulaiman says the WBC and everyone else in boxing must do more to monitor fighters after a stoppage.

“Jeanette Zacarías Zapata, an 18-year-old girl, traveled to Montreal, Canada. She lost her life after a six-round fight.

“Her opponent is a 31-year-old rookie with just three fights. Marie-Pier Houle is a physical therapist and took on boxing just as a hobby.

“This tragedy, this accident in the ring, has shaken boxing, sports, and society.

“It has been revealed that she obtained medical clearance. This came after successfully passing the rigorous examinations.

“It was a six-rounder. The fight was not brutal, and the attention of the local commission was timely and exemplary.

“What happened? This is what must be determined as the specific facts are investigated.

“Jeannette was knocked out in Reynosa in May and was suspended for 90 days. There is an immediate line of action that the boxing industry must address at a global level.

“Change suspension reports and monitor anyone who suffered a major knockout.

“Suspensions are intended to indicate a period of time in which the fighter must not have contact in the ring. This should mean NO Sparring and light training.

“However, it is world practice to fix that date as the cut-off date for the next fight. So, one day after the suspension date, the fighter is deemed eligible to get in the ring and fight.

Jeanette Zapata


“The WBC has been in contact with Jeanette’s father and family. We are ready to support them in a variety of ways during and after this sad situation.

“The world boxing community has come together so that Jeanette receives a worthy and holy farewell. Therefore, it will happen as soon as the Canadian authorities have concluded the process and proceed with transporting her to her hometown.

“The promoter Yvon Michel has taken care of everything in an exemplary way and will be traveling to Aguascalientes to meet with the young woman’s family.

“Our support and admiration go to Yvon Michel and all the members of GYM as well as to Marie Pier Houle, who has absolutely no fault in this tragic incident.”

In addition, the matchmaker for the contest admitted after Jeanette Zapata died that he would not have chosen her to fight if he’d seen her previous knockout.

Furthermore, no footage was available at that time.

Follow World Boxing News on social media @worldboxingnews.