The original main event card for a boxing match on September 11 was supposed to be Oscar De La Hoya versus Vitor Belfort. But after De La Hoya announced he was hospitalized with COVID-19, boxing legend Evander Holyfield agreed to step into the ring.
Triller, the platform hosting the fight club Pay-Per-View, confirmed with ESPN that the showdown will now be between mixed martial artist Belfort, 44, and the 58-year-old legend, also known as “Real Deal” Holyfield.
De La Hoya, 48, tweeted from a hospital bed that he contracted the virus, 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 wrote. “Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support.”
Originally slated to take place at Los Angeles, California’s Staple Center, the fight will instead take place in Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, sources tell ESPN.
Holyfield officially retired in June 2014. His last fight took place on May 7, 2011, against Brian Nielsen, which Holyfield won by TKO, ESPN writes. He was scheduled for a June exhibition against Kevin McBride, but the fight was marked to be rescheduled for the second time, according to the Bleacher Report.