Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort does not believe that Oscar De La Hoya had to pull out of their boxing match because of COVID-19.
Originally paired up against the ‘Golden Boy’ at Triller Fight Club on September 11, the ‘Phenom’ ended up facing legendary heavyweight Evander Holyfield once Oscar withdrew from the contest due to the virus.
However, Belfort tells Ag Fight that De La Hoya’s story sounds more like an excuse to leave the fight. In Vitor’s opinion (which matches with Dana White), Oscar lied about being sick in order to escape from their fight because he was scared of taking on the Brazilian in the ring.
“You could see he didn’t have the coronavirus, he was just scared,” Belfort said. “He’s even more scared now. but he has nowhere to run to. Otherwise it won’t be a good look for him. A lot of people have bought tickets (for the fight), plane tickets. He disrespected his fans, my fans and fighting fans. I have never done that, pretending I’m injured to avoid a fight. That’s what he did in the last week before the fight.
“I’ve beaten the greatest fighter in the history of heavyweight. A guy who destroyed Mike Tyson twice. I didn’t fight a can. I had to gain weight in a short time. He (Oscar) said he would knock me out in 30 seconds. That was the worst part, right? That’s preposterous. What a joke. Sign the contract.”
The victory over Holyfield marked Belfort’s first victory in boxing since a 2006 KO win in his debut, against Josemario Neves. In MMA, the 44-year-old suffered a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in his most recent outing, in May 2018. Before that, the Brazilian picked up a unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt in June 2017.