Oscar De La Hoya out of Belfort Fight After COVID-19 Diagnosis; Evander Holyfield In

Adam WellsSeptember 3, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 25: Evander Holyfield speaks at the podium during the unveiling of his statue at State Farm Arena on June 25, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With Oscar De La Hoya unavailable to compete on the Sept. 11 Triller card, Evander Holyfield could take his place in an exhibition against Vitor Belfort. 

Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Triller investor Ryan Kavanagh said the company is waiting on the California State Athletic Commission to clear Holyfield. 

Kavanagh noted if the CSAC doesn't clear Holyfield, the event will be moved to Florida. 

De La Hoya announced Friday he wouldn't be able to fight because he tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated in the hospital:

Oscar De La Hoya @OscarDeLaHoya

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. Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, &amp; I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support. <a href="https://t.co/0wKEnr5Jzv">pic.twitter.com/0wKEnr5Jzv</a>

The Golden Boy announced in July that he would be returning to the ring for an official bout against Belfort that was being sanctioned by the CSAC. 

That announcement came after De La Hoya told DAZN's Andreas Hale last November he was "90 percent positive" about coming back. 

At the time, De La Hoya was targeting the first quarter of 2021 to fight. The 48-year-old has been retired since losing to Manny Pacquiao in December 2008. 

Belfort has spent most of his professional fighting career in mixed martial arts. The Brazilian star is best known for his two stints in UFC from 2002-05 and 2009-18. He won the UFC light heavyweight title from Randy Couture in January 2004. 

The Phenom had one professional boxing match in 2006, defeating Josemario Neves by TKO. 

Holyfield had been scheduled to fight Kevin McBride on the June 19 Triller show, but the card was postponed due to complications with the Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos Jr. main event. 

The Sept. 11 show will mark Holyfield's first official boxing match since defeating Brian Nielsen in May 2011.