Oscar De La Hoya Hospitalized With Breakthrough COVID-19

Boxer Oscar De La Hoya was forced to withdraw from his first match since 2008 after contracting coronavirus. He shared the news in a video taken from his hospital bed.

By McKenna Aiello Sep 03, 2021 10:27 PMTags
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Oscar De La Hoya was knocked out by COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated against the virus. 

On Sept. 3, the boxer shared the news in a social media video posted from his hospital bed. "What are the chances of me getting COVID?" he expressed, appearing visibly exhausted. "I've been taking care of myself and this really, really kicked my ass." 

De La Hoya, 48, will no longer compete in a comeback match against former UFC Champion Vitor Belfort, which was scheduled for Sept. 11 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. It would have marked the athlete's first time competing professionally since 2008. 

In a separate message, De La Hoya told his supporters, "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, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support." 

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His prognosis appears positive, however. De La Hoya also tweeted, "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." 

According to ESPN, 58-year-old Evander Holyfield, who last competed in 2011, is set to fill in for De La Hoya. The fight will now take place at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla and air on Triller. 

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Triller boss Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN in a statement after De La Hoya's withdrawal, "Heavyweight fights are always the most exciting clashes, and this is a heavyweight fight between two true warriors. We really wish Oscar a speedy recovery, he's a champion and a warrior; we know he'll fight this and win. We look forward to seeing him in the ring on the anniversary of Fight Club's launch."

Watch De La Hoya's message in the video above. 

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com.