Oscar De La Hoya Says His Boxing Comeback Is on Hold After Testing Positive for COVID-19

The Golden Boy was scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort Sept. 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Former US Olympics gold medalist professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya spars with his partner during a media workout.

Oscar De La Hoya is out of his comeback fight against Vitor Belfort after testing positive for COVID-19, the boxer said Friday in a tweet. 

De La Hoya, 48, was scheduled to make his return to boxing on Sept. 11 after 13 years in a Staples Center bout against the ex-UFC heavyweight champ.

In a tweet Friday, De La Hoya said he was fully vaccinated and will not be able to fight against Belfort.

"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,” De La Hoya said in his tweet. “Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the past few months and I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support."

The fight was to be the main event of a Triller Fight Club Card. TMZ, citing unidentified sources, said 58-year-old Evander Holyfield has offered to step in and box Belfort.

“This really, really kicked my ass,” De La Hoya, from East Los Angeles, said in a video that was apparently posted from his hospital bed. 


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Health officials continue to urge vaccinations as the best defense against COVID-19 infections, which are disproportionately affecting the unvaccinated and landing them in hospitals.

We thought we could control the pandemic with about 70% of the country vaccinated. But with the Delta variant leading to case surges even in highly vaccinated countries, that changes the math. We may need 90% to take the COVID-19 vaccine to really wrangle with this variant, says Alabama epidemiologist Dr. Suzanne Judd.

Among eligible Los Angeles County residents aged 12 and over, 75% have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 65% are fully vaccinated. Touting the effectiveness of the vaccines, county Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that of
nearly 5.3 million residents who were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, 37,614 have tested positive for the virus, for a rate of 0.71%, while 1,049 have been hospitalized, a rate of 0.02%. Of those fully vaccinated, 118 have died, for a
rate of 0.0022%.

While unvaccinated residents remain four to five times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 than their vaccinated counterparts, Ferrer noted that case numbers appear to have peaked and begun declining across most ethnic groups, even among the unvaccinated in Los Angeles County.

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