Oscar De La Hoya’s return to boxing after nearly 13 years is going to have to wait. The Golden Boy, who was scheduled to fight ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort in the main event of a Triller Fight Club card, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is out of the fight.
De La Hoya, 48, hasn’t fought since being stopped by Manny Pacquiao after eight one-sided rounds on Dec. 6, 2008.
TMZ was the first to report the news of De La Hoya’s positive test.
Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh confirmed that former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will serve as De la Hoya's replacement.
De La Hoya tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital bed.
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. Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support. pic.twitter.com/0wKEnr5Jzv
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) September 3, 2021
“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,” De La Hoya wrote.
Holyfield has yet to be approved as an opponent by the California State Athletic Commission. Holyfield will turn 59 on Oct. 19, about five weeks after the fight. Like De La Hoya a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Holyfield hasn’t boxed since stopping Brian Nielsen in Denmark on May 7, 2011.
If California doesn’t approve Holyfield, the fight could be moved out of Los Angeles to another venue.