Boxing: Woman amateur fighter dies despite headgear

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The Independent Online

A female boxer died from a head injury sustained in the Colorado Golden Gloves amateur competition, it was revealed yesterday.

A female boxer died from a head injury sustained in the Colorado Golden Gloves amateur competition, it was revealed yesterday.

Becky Zerlentes, 34, of Fort Collins, died on Sunday afternoon. The results from an autopsy conducted yesterday were not immediately available.

Zerlentes was hit by a punch from Heather Schmitz, and despite wearing protective headgear fell unconscious during the third round of a bout late on Saturday, a USA Boxing spokeswoman, Julie Goldsticker said. Physicians jumped into the ring, but Zerlentes never regained consciousness and died several hours later. She had a 6-4 record.

"The USA Boxing family's thoughts and prayers go out to Becky's family and husband," said Sandy Martinez-Pino, the president of USA Boxing.

USA Boxing, America's sanctioning body for amateur boxing, lifted its ban on women in 1993 and now has 2,200 registered participants. Zerlentes is believed to be the first woman to receive a fatal injury in a sanctioned amateur match in the US. Goldsticker said the last death at a USA Boxing event was in 2001, when the heavyweight Quinton Grier, 31, died after a bout.

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