Quebec Coroner Says Mexican Boxer’s Death Likely Due To Second Impact Syndrome

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata


  • 18 year old Jeanette Zacarias Zapata died 5 days after her boxing match in Quebec
  • Coroner’s report says death likely caused by second impact syndrome
  • Key recommendations made to event promoters and regulators via coroner’s report

The boxing world mourned the loss of young Jeanette Zacarias Zapata who passed away on Sep 2, 2021 after she was knocked out and became unconscious during a box fight on Aug 28, 2021. The 18 year old Mexican fighter was part of a fight card put up by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and fought at Montreal’s IGA Stadium

Second Impact Syndrome

Jacques Ramsay, a coroner in Quebec released a report on his findings into Jeanette Zacarias Zapata’s death on Nov 28. The report states that the young Mexican boxer passed away due to second impact syndrome. The report describes her death as accidental but violent.

Second impact syndrome is when an individual suffers a second injury to the head without fully recovering from the first injury. Zapata fought 15 weeks prior to her fight in Quebec and was suffered a KO loss in Mexico. She took a lot of damage in that fight and was seen hanging on to the ropes, dropping on to one knee before the referee intervened and stopped the fight.

Her father said after the fight that she lost consciousness and attributed it to a lack of oxygen. She went on to serve a two month mandatory suspension from all boxing activities which is similar to what the gaming regulator in Quebec would have done. However, that two month break wasn’t long enough for Zapata to recover from her brain injuries.

The coroner’s report said she developed a swelling in her brain which spread very quickly which is a sign of second impact syndrome.

Fight Promoters and Regulators Urged To Do More

When Zapata filled out the mandatory questionnaire given to her by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ), she ticked no to questions that asked if she had suffered a concussion, head injury or lost consciousness. The corner said that those answers showed that Zapata did not think she suffered a concussion during her fight in Mexico.

The report urged all fight promoters and gaming regulators to make it more stringent for fighters who are coming off a KO loss to submit detailed reports of what happened including video evidence to prevent incidents like what happened to Zapata.

Author Hello, My name is Ava. I am a keen sports enthusiast and enjoying not only watching but also playing a variety of them throughout the year. Ones that I particularly enjoy are reflected in the posts I tend to write about, stemmed from my experience in college athletics, coverage for the NBA and keen attendee...