Article: Female Boxer Dies In Ring
Female Boxer Dies In Ring
We'd bring up the irony of the fact that we just ran a featured review of the movie Girlfight, but that'd be in poor taste.
Women Boxer Dies After Knockout Punch
DENVER (CBS4) Denver police are investigating the death of a female boxer after she was knocked out in a fight Saturday night at the National Western Stock Show complex.
Becky Zerlentes, 34, of Fort Collins, died Sunday afternoon, Denver County Coroner Howard Daniel said. The preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, but results from an autopsy conducted Monday were not immediately available.
You can view the video of this event here you morbid bastard. Would it be in poor taste to point out how Mixed Martial Arts in the USA has never had a single death? Suck on that, John McCain.
Total Comments 22
4/14/2005 10:33am, #2
4/14/2005 10:34am, #3
4/14/2005 12:06pm, #4
(CBS/AP) A woman who won a regional boxing title three years ago died from a head injury sustained in a Golden Gloves competition. She is believed to be the first woman to die in a sanctioned amateur match in the U.S.
Becky Zerlentes, 34, of Fort Collins died Sunday afternoon, said Howard Daniel of the Denver County coroner's office. A preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, but results from an autopsy conducted Monday were not immediately available.
Zerlentes was hit by a punch by her opponent, Heather Schmitz, and despite wearing protective headgear fell unconscious to the canvas during the third round of her match late Saturday, USA Boxing spokeswoman Julie Goldsticker.
The fatal blow, captured by CBS station KCNC-TV, shows a right hook landing on Zerlentes' left temple.
Ringside physicians jumped into the ring but Zerlentes never regained consciousness and died several hours later at a hospital.
Detectives from the Denver Police Department were reviewing videotape of the boxing match and so far detectives say nothing looks out of the ordinary.
"I am looking for at what point the fight was stopped," said Det. Tyrone Campbell. "I would have to review it a little further but at the time I don't see anything glaring."
Interviewed by the station shortly after the fight and before Zerlentes died, Schmitz said she felt horrible.
"You know, you don't go in there with the idea 'I want to hurt this person,' you go in there with the idea 'I want to win,'" Schmitz said.
"She came up to me, introduced herself, I introduced myself. She seemed friendly intelligent, respectful woman and we were friends instantly," Schmitz told KCNC
"The USA Boxing family's thoughts and prayers go out to Becky's family and husband; we are deeply saddened by this loss," said USA Boxing President Sandy Martinez-Pino.
Zerlentes had won a regional Golden Gloves in 2002, said Jeanne ePriest, chief of officials for Colorado Golden Gloves and the manager of the team with which Zerlentes boxed, Hard Knocks.
She had taken a break from boxing after that win, but then recently resumed the sport, DePriest said.
"This is hard for us," DePriest said. "Everybody in the world loved Becky; she was a very positive woman. Boxing is a one-on-one in the ring, but we are all a team at Hard Knocks."
USA Boxing is the sanctioning body for amateur boxing. The organization lifted its ban on women in 1993 and currently has 2,200 women as registered participants.
Goldsticker said the last death at a USA Boxing event was in February 2001, when heavyweight Quinton Grier, 31, of Springfield, Ill., died after a match.
In June 2003, a 30-year-old Florida mother, Stacy Young, died after she was beaten into a coma during a "Toughman" boxing competition that she had entered on impulse. The Toughman bouts weren't considered professional boxing and weren't regulated by the state of Florida. Young's death marked the 13th related to Toughman since the event began in 1979.
And from the below, note that she was a Phd and a TKD brown belt.
DENVER -- It was the kind of blow that occurs thousands of times in boxing matches across the country: In the third round of a women's bout, Becky Zerlentes took a shot to the head above her left eye, then staggered forward and fell to the canvas.
Only this time, Zerlentes never regained consciousness and died, becoming the first female boxer to die in a sanctioned event.
The death stunned those who knew Zerlentes, a 34-year-old college instructor remembered as a fun-loving, adventurous person who had a particular fondness for sports.
"This is so much more than about boxing," said Mary Croissant, who taught with Zerlentes at Front Range Community College. "She was the Energizer Bunny of our campus. She was turbo woman. She had a smile and a light in her heart that touched everyone she came in contact with. I miss her. I need her to still be alive."
Zerlentes, who held a Ph.D in geography, rode her bike everywhere and chided those who wouldn't drive to work together because it wasted energy. She organized group walks for the faculty, urging everyone to pick up trash along the way. A massage therapist, she asked that friends donate money to charity instead of paying her.
Zerlentes also had a brown belt in taekwondo and enjoyed boxing, which led her to compete in the Colorado Golden Gloves event Saturday night. She died the next afternoon of what the coroner ruled blunt force trauma.
Though the number of female boxers is still relatively low -- 2,200 are currently registered -- interest in the sport has gradually increased since USA Boxing lifted its ban on women's boxing in 1993. The success of boxers such as Muhammad Ali's daughter, Laila, and the Academy Award-winning film "Million Dollar Baby" has put the sport more into the mainstream.
While women's boxing isn't likely to ever come close to reaching the status of the men's side -- the sport is a long shot to be added for the 2008 Beijing Olympics -- any increase raises the chances that women are going to get hurt or killed in the ring.
"The USA Boxing family's thoughts and prayers go out to Becky's family and husband. We are deeply saddened by this loss," said Sandy Martinez-Pino, president of USA Boxing, the national sanctioning body for amateur boxing.
The organization adheres to the same safety requirements for women as it does men: Boxers are required to go through pre- and post-bout physicals and they must wear headgear. A certified doctor also must be ringside at every event and all bouts are tracked in a "passbook," which records the outcome of the bout and the health of the athlete. Opponents are matched based on skill and experience in weight classes.
The last death at a USA Boxing event came in February 2001, when heavyweight Quinton Grier died of a heart ailment after a match. Juan Silva III was the last fighter to die as result of in-ring injuries in May 2000.
Overall, boxing ranks eighth in fatality rates for all sports -- 1.3 deaths per 100,000 competitors, according to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute.
It's still unclear what happened to Zerlentes in her match against Heather Schmitz. Autopsy results are still pending and Denver police yestrday said no charges are likely.
Not that it matters all that much to those who knew Zerlentes.
Married to Colorado State economics professor Stephan Weiler, she taught everything from economics to swimming at Front Range. An accomplished athlete, she had competed in triathlons, synchronized swimming, kickboxing and had a black belt in Goshin Jitsu, as well as brown belts in several other martial arts.
A regional Golden Gloves champion in 2002, she recently picked up the sport again.
"We're like bewildered zombies walking around," said Croissant, who knew Zerlentes for six years. "It's going to be really hard. I don't think we know right now how much we're really going to miss her. She was the linchpin in our lives.""Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
4/14/2005 12:08pm, #5
This proves it, women are meant to iron shirts and change diapers. :occasion1
4/14/2005 12:12pm, #6Originally Posted by patfromlogan
From the looks of the video, it got her at the right angle and that might have caused a total KO instantly and as she fell with no way to support herself, it was probably the fall that killed her...though her head does snap back pretty good, maybe trauma to the base of the skull/top of the neck ala whiplash...
4/14/2005 12:12pm, #7
I was reading the newspaper at work the other day and there was some defensive linebacker here in San Diego who got killed in a tackle.
I wonder how the statistics line up between boxing, MMA, and other contact sports commonly considered more civilized (football, basketball, etc.).
Time for some research.
4/14/2005 12:31pm, #8
Originally Posted by En
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
- St. Petersburg, Fl
no **** it wasnt mma that was my point. also i just guessed on the tuff 'woman' contest. the fact that it was golden gloves is probably worse.Eduardo "Why'd you stop."
Me "I was kicked in the head by the guys sparring next to me."
Eduardo "Ino what happened but i didnt say you could stop."
Me "Um.. I guess I keep going."
Eduardo "You dont stop until i say stop, you dont get tired until i say your tired, keep going."
Originally posted by Ralek
My cousin gave me some tapes of him doing tkd. I learned from those tapes. When I beat up an Akido instructor, and made him take rest breaks, I used TKD. I learned Bjj from watching ufc and pride and then I copied them and wrestled my cousin for practice. I choked him out and he tapped.
4/14/2005 12:34pm, #9
4/14/2005 3:47pm, #10
Doesn't look like anything, does it? How many of us took a punch just like that this week? This afternoon?
As for the lack of deaths in MMA, let me point out for a second that the number of MMAers in the country is only know becoming a representative sample. . . even baseball and basketball have a few deaths and serioius injurys every year, from head or chest trauma or unlucky falls, and ANY participant in ANY sport runs the risk of an undiagnosed medical condition... I will say that MMA refs stop fights much sooner then refs in other fightsports, and I think the current MMA system keeps people from fighting until they're vetted as expert and healthy. As a veteren of the toughman system, I will tell you that it is all too easy to climb into a boxing ring in this country - no-nothings gloving up is part of the commercial appeal of toughman, and that's kind of messed up.