De La Hoya vs. Belfort pro boxing bout scheduled for Sept. 11
by Dane McGuire
Fans of spectacle combat sports bouts will soon be getting their fix thanks to Triller. “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya will soon be stepping in the ring against former UFC champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort.
Boxing Junkie and MMAJunkie.com have reported the bout is set for Sept. 11 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Triller executive Ryan announced the news to ESPN Wednesday. No other bouts have been announced as of this writing.
As Boxing Junkie notes, the almost 44-year old Belfort last fought in MMA at UFC 224 in 2018, retiring after a loss to fellow former champ Lyoto Machida. Belfort signed with Asia’s ONE Championship a year later but never stepped back in the cage.
Belfort explained the situation to Cageside Press in June, referencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They could not close the fight. My agent, Lloyd, was trying to close many fights. For some reason, their agenda, my agenda, we could not consolidate it,” explained Belfort. “My contract came to an end, and Chatri [Sityodtong, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO] is a nice guy, a good friend of mine. He said ‘Vitor, we cannot find you a fight.’ You know, this pandemic hit, it was pretty crazy. And I think it just didn’t align, what they’re doing with what I wanted to do.”
“I’m really excited with what Triller’s doing. I think they’re shifting how combat sports is migrating. I believe soon we’re going to have a [hybridization] between boxers and MMA guys, to see who has the best hands,” Belfort added.
As Boxing Junkie reported, De La Hoya has been focusing on his Golden Boy Promotions organization, last fighting in a 2008 losing effort to Manny Pacquiao, getting stopped.
MMAFighting reported yesterday the bout is no longer an exhibition as originally planned. The contest will now be a pro boxing bout. the California State Athletic Commission will regulate the fight.
“[Oscar] is the one who said, ‘I’m in the best shape of my life, f*ck this exhibition B.S. I’m going for real,’” Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN. “None of this ballroom dancing boxing has had to endure. Both of them are in incredible shape.”
MMA Fighting reported, “the fighters were expected to wear 10-ounce gloves for the contest, but official paperwork for the bout hasn’t been completed yet, according to one person with knowledge of negotiations.”
CageNation will have more information about the event as it emerges.