Oscar De La Hoya has COVID-19, Evander Holyfield to fight Vitor Belfort: report

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Oscar De La Hoya has been hospitalized with COVID-19, forcing him to pull out of his pay-per-view comeback fight against Vitor Belfort on Sept. 11 in Los Angeles, TMZ is reporting.

Evander Holyfield, 58, will step in to fight Belfort in L.A. if the California State Athletic Commission gives him clearance, according to TMZ. If California officials don’t approve the matchup, it will be moved to Florida.

De La Hoya posted a video on social media to explain his situation. He said: “I wanted you to hear directly form 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, and I want to hank everyone for their tremendous support. I am currently in the hospital getting treatment and am confident I will be back in the ring before the year is up. God bless everyone and stay safe.”

De La Hoya, 48, hasn’t fought since he was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in 2008. Holyfield has been in the ring more recently, in 2011, when he stopped Brian Nielsen.

Holyfield has been a candidate to face Mike Tyson but the two were unable to reach a deal. Tyson faced Roy Jones Jr. in a successful exhibition this past November. The former heavyweight champ then moved on to Kevin McBride, who ended Tyson’s career. However, a Holyfield-McBride fight scheduled for June was postponed.

Belfort, a former MMA star, had told TMZ in June that he planned to fight Holyfield three months after his bout with De La Hoya. He had been targeting December for the fight with Holyfield.

Holyfield will turn 59 on Oct. 19. Belfort, a former MMA star, is 44.

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