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Oscar De La Hoya withdraws from Vitor Belfort fight due to COVID-19, Evander Holyfield could replace him

The Golden Boy had a breakthrough case in spite of his vaccination. We break down what the news means.

Oscar De La Hoya attends an open to the public media workout hosted by boxing legend “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya at XBOX Plaza on August 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Oscar De La Hoya’s awaited return to boxing will have to wait a little longer. The multi-division champion was scheduled to Vitor Belfort on September 11, but has had to withdraw from the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. The Golden Boy confirmed the news on Twitter on Friday afternoon and announced it was a breakthrough case in spite of his vaccination.

TMZ and Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh are both reporting Evander Holyfield might step in as a replacement. Kavanaugh told MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani that they are awaiting word from the California State Athletic Commission on whether or not Holyfield can be cleared by next weekend. If he cannot get cleared for California, Triller would look at moving the card to Florida for the same date.

The fight was scheduled to be at the light heavyweight mark. There is no word yet on what Holyfield would weigh in at if this fight can come together in such short order. The card is also scheduled to feature former MMA legends Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz facing off, and a junior lightweight bout between Andy Vences and Jono Carroll.