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Boxer Oscar De La Hoya, who was set to return to the ring after 13 years next week, has been hospitalized with the coronavirus, he said Friday.
The formerly retired boxing champion announced his diagnosis in a series of tweets and videos from his hospital bed in Los Angeles, saying he tested positive despite being vaccinated and taking care of himself.
“Wanted you to hear directly from me that despite being fully vaccinated, I have contracted COVID and am not going to be able to fight next weekend,” he wrote. “Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support.”
De La Hoya, 48, said he could not breathe well and was feeling a lot of pain.
“This really, really kicked my ass,” he said in one of the videos.
The Olympic gold medalist, also known as “The Golden Boy,” was set to face former UFC champion Victor Belfort at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sept. 11. Triller Fight Club, which is organizing the event, is reportedly considering retired boxing champion Evander Holyfield to replace De La Hoya in the fight.
De La Hoya was an 11-time world champion in six different weight categories when he retired in 2008. He’s also a boxing Hall of Famer and a mixed martial arts promoter.