MMA legend Vitor Belfort has a new short-notice opponent for his upcoming boxing match on September 11th in shape of Evander Holyfield after Oscar De La Hoya was hospitalized with Covid-19.
ODLH revealed in a video from his hospital bed that he’d been hit hard by Covid even though he was fully vaccinated, but still hopes to be in the ring before the year is out.
“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,” the 48-year-old 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.
“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.”
With labored breathing, De La Hoya admitted he’d had a tough time battling the disease, despite having got in great shape for his return to boxing.
“I mean, what are the chances of me getting COVID,” De La Hoya said, “I’ve been taking care of myself, and…this really really kicked my ass.”
With ODLH out, the 44-year-old Belfort now faces a new opponent, but nonetheless still a legendary one in the 58-year-old Holyfield.
Holyfield is of course a decorated former heavyweight champion and so instead of fighting at middleweight, Belfort will now be competing at that weight class instead with hardly any time to prepare for a completely different stylistic match-up.
Meanwhile the location for the event has also been completely changed since Holyfield wasn’t able to be licensed in California in time for the show, so it will now take place in Florida instead.
The Triller event will also still feature a boxing match between two MMA legends in Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz.