Oscar De La Hoya Positive For Covid 19- Belfort Fight Off
It turns out that Oscar De La Hoya won’t be making a comeback to the ring next weekend after all. This after the Hall of Fame fighter has tested positive for Covid-19.
Goosip site TMZ reported first on Friday late morning Pacific time that the 48 year-old De La Hoya had tested positive and his September 11th bout with former UFC champion Vitor Belfort is off.
Oscar De La Hoya has tested positive for COVID-19 and will NOT be fighting Vitor Belfort on September 11 … and Evander Holyfield will be taking his spot. https://t.co/g3rEFkdJkW
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) September 3, 2021
TMZ went on to report that Triller, the promoter through their “Fight Club” series, maybe trying to have 58 year-old former Undisputed Heavyweight Champ Evander Holyfield replace De La Hoya and fight Belfort. This after news was broke earlier this week that Holyfield is trying to take Triller to arbitration over his proposed “legends fight” with heavyweight Kevin McBride having been postponed and not rescheduled all Summer.
Boxingsene’s Jake Donovan quickly refuted the TMZ report about Holyfield being added on as a last-minute, big-name replacement for De La Hoya,
Sources inform @boxingscene that under no circumstances will Holyfield-Belfort be approved, whether as a sanctioned fight or exhibition. Show would have to relocate to another state (or country) for fight to take place. https://t.co/PiuPqC2eoC
— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) September 3, 2021
Internet speculation continued Friday afternoon that if the California Boxing Commission won’t allow a Holyfield-Belfort fight, that it may move to South Florida, where Holyfield is based and would have some short notice drawing power.
Back to De La Hoya. The return to the ring next Saturday night in Los Angeles at Staples Center had been heavily promoted in recent weeks.
As we wrote previously, De La Hoya has been contemplating some version of a comeback since last Summer. This despite having not fought, exhibition or otherwise, since Manny Pacquiao defeated him in 2008. The multi-division world champion was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.
De La Hoya made an abrupt announcement of his in-ring return during the Triller press conference to promoting their April Pay-Per-View headlined by actor/Youtuber Jake Paul and former MMA fighter, Ben Askren. De La Hoya said at that time, simply, “July 3rd, I’m making my comeback.” Then, he literally dropped the microphone and walked off the stage.
The fight was delayed from July 3rd, but was made with Belfort and eventually, set for September. There had been talk that Triller would put the De La Hoya bout with the Covid-19 delayed Undisputed Lightweight title fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos. However, that didn’t end up for next weekend, as Lopez will fight Kambosos next month in New York, instead.
As for Belfort, he’s a 44 year old MMA fighter. He previously won the UFC Light Heavyweight title, but hasn’t been in any type of cage-fight, etc., since May of 2018. Belfort, who is Brazilian, does have a brief amateur background as a boxer in his teenage years. He also fought one time with a first round KO in a pro boxing match in Brazil in 2006.
De La Hoya joins a laundry list of other fighters like Lopez, Tyson Fury, and Conor Benn who have had their marquee fights postponed due to testing positive for the Coronavirius.
We now wait for if the fight is scrapped altogether or will be rescheduled for later in the year.