The current trend of MMA crossovers into boxing has created some surprising matchups, but perhaps few as unexpected as the announcement of former UFC champion Vitor Belfort’s planned pro boxing match against former multi-division king Oscar De La Hoya. The two men announced the fight back in June, with the intention of meeting inside the ring on September 11th at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, CA, under the Triller fight club banner.
Unfortunately, that fight has now been cancelled, with TMZ originally reporting the news that Oscar De La Hoya had tested positive for COVID-19. However, Triller will apparently still be looking to go ahead with the card, touting Evander Holyfield as a replacement to face Belfort in De La Hoya’s stead.
The ‘Golden Boy’ himself, confirmed the news of his diagnosis, sending out a message to fans on Instagram from the hospital, where he’s being treated for what sounds like a fairly severe case of ‘breakthrough’ COVID.
“I mean, what are the chances of me getting COVID? I’ve been taking care of myself and this really, really kicked my ass,” De La Hoya said in a short video uploaded to social media.
“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 added in a written accompanying message. “Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, and I want to thank 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.”
Some sources are reporting that California is extremely unlikely to sanction Holyfield for the fight, even under an exhibition rule set. However, TMZ and multiple other sources have confirmed that if the bout cant be held under CSAC’s jurisdiction, Triller is prepared to move the entire card to Florida instead.
Also expected for the event is the return of former UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva, fresh off his shocking victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Silva is set to face Tito Ortiz in an 8-round bout at 195 lbs. The fight would serve as Ortiz’s boxing debut. Former undisputed cruiserweight champion David Haye is also set to fight on the card against Paul vs. Askren undercard fighter Joe Fournier.