De La Hoya scraps comeback fight after testing positive for COVID-19

Published September 4, 2021, 9:09 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

In this file photo taken on August 24, 2021 Former US Olympics Gold medalist professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya stretches before sparring with his partner during a media workout in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

Former boxing great Oscar De La Hoya said Friday he has been hospitalised after contracting COVID-19, forcing cancellation of his one-off comeback bout against Vitor Belfort next week.

De La Hoya, 48, said in a video posted on Twitter that he had been admitted to hospital for treatment despite being fully vaccinated.

“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 said. 

“Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support.”

De La Hoya indicated he hoped to reschedule his return to the ring for later this year.

“I am currently in the hospital getting treatment and am confident I will be back in the ring before the year is up,” he said. 

De La Hoya last fought in 2008, when he was subjected to a beating by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas over eight one-sided rounds.

However in June this year, De La Hoya announced a fully-sanctioned comeback fight against Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter Belfort to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It was not clear Friday if Belfort would seek an alternative opponent after De La Hoya’s withdrawal. 

One report said organisers were targeting former heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield as a possible replacement. Holyfield, 58, has not fought since 2011.