Former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya has been hospitalized with a breakthrough case of COVID-19 — forcing him to withdraw from his extremely anticipated comeback bout.
The 48-year previous Olympic gold medalist was slated to go up towards former MMA fighter Vitor Belfort subsequent week in a pay-per-view struggle on the Staples Heart in Los Angeles. It will have marked De La Hoya’s return to the ring after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2008.
He introduced his withdrawal from the Sept. 11 matchup in a video posted on social media Friday from a hospital mattress.
“Wished you to listen to straight from me that regardless of being absolutely vaccinated, I’ve contracted Covid and am not going to have the ability to struggle subsequent weekend,” he mentioned in a tweet.
“Making ready for this comeback has been every thing to me over the past months, & I need to thank everybody for his or her super assist.”
In an accompanying video, De La Hoya appeared to wrestle to breathe, as he mentioned the virus “actually kicked my ass.”
“I imply what are the possibilities of me getting COVID. I’ve been taking good care of myself,” he mentioned earlier than exhaling deeply.
De La Hoya was set to struggle 44-year-old Belfort at 185 kilos — 40 kilos heavier than he was in his loss to Pacquiao 13 years in the past.
Evander Holyfield, 58, a four-time Heavyweight Champion has been tapped as De La Hoya’s alternative, in line with The Los Angeles Occasions. The transfer nonetheless must be authorised by the California State Athletic Fee.
De La Hoya formally introduced his return to boxing in March, when he signed a multi-fight take care of Triller.
With Publish wires