LOS ANGELES, CA – Oscar De La Hoya, a former professional boxer who was expected to step back into the ring for the first time after a 12-year absence, has announced he is hospitalized with COVID-19 and will not be able to participate in his planned upcoming fight on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
De La Hoya has been training for months for his now cancelled bout with Brazilian mixed martial artist Vitor Belfort in a pay-per-view event at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. According to ESPN, Belfort, a former UFC star, will now fight former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.
In a Twitter post from his hospital bed, De La Hoya, 48, posted a video saying he wanted fans to hear it directly from him and that despite being fully vaccinated he contracted the illness:
“I wanted you to hear directly from me that despite being fully vaccinated, I contracted COVID and I will not be able to fight next weekend. Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me for the past few months and I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support.” “I am currently in the hospital receiving treatment and I am sure I will be back in the ring before the year is out. God bless you all and take care.”
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De La Hoya, who fought professionally from 1992 to 2008, appeared week in the video saying:
“What were the chances of me getting COVID… I mean, I’ve been taking care of myself, and this really, really kicked my ass.