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Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya hospitalized with COVID-19

Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya hospitalized with COVID-19
Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya, shown May 3, 2013, was set to compete for the first time since a December 2008 TKO loss to Manny Pacquiao. File Photo by David Becker/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Just days before his return to the ring, boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya announced Friday from a hospital bed that he tested positive for COVID-19.

De La Hoya, who said he is vaccinated, was set to compete for the first time since a December 2008 TKO loss to Manny Pacquiao. De La Hoya's bout with the coronavirus, however, will prevent him from fighting former UFC champion Vitor Belfort on Sept. 11 in a Triller Fight Club pay-per-view event.

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"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 on Twitter. "Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, [and] I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support."

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In place of De La Hoya, 58-year-old Evander Holyfield has agreed to step in and fight Belfort. Holyfield hasn't fought since a 2011 TKO win over Brian Nielsen.

De La Hoya-Belfort was scheduled to take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the event with Holyfield and Belfort will move to Hollywood, Fla. The fight will be eight two-minute rounds.

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