Olympic gold medalist boxer Oscar De La Hoya revealed on social media that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized with the virus despite being fully vaccinated, forcing a delay of his comeback to the ring.
“Preparing for this comeback has been everything to me over the last months, & I want to thank everyone for their tremendous support,” De La Hoya, 48, stated on Instagram Friday. “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.”
“What are the chances of me getting COVID? I’ve been taking care of myself and this really, really, really kicked my ass,” he tweeted in a video from his hospital bed.
De La Hoya’s planned return to the ring after 13 years has now been placed on hold and he has had to reschedule his boxing match for next weekend. He was scheduled to fight UFC champ, Vitor Belfort, in a “comeback” fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on September 11. Evander Holyfield, 58, will replace De La Hoya. However, the new match-up is unlikely to be approved by the California State Athletic Commission, according to The Los Angeles Times. If that happens, the match could be relocated to another state.
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. pic.twitter.com/0wKEnr5Jzv
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) September 3, 2021
Breakthrough infections after being vaccinated against the virus are reportedly rare. And when they do occur, they tend to be much milder in fully vaccinated individuals. The vaccine does not protect against the illness 100 percent. De La Hoya’s hospitalization is a rare occurrence, especially for someone in very good health who has been taking care of themselves the way he has.
De La Hoya’s COVID diagnosis comes five months after “The Golden Boy” announced his return to boxing. He last fought in December of 2008, when he lost to Manny Pacquiao.
“Heavyweight fights are always the most exciting clashes, and this is a heavyweight fight between two true warriors,” Triller Fight Club’s Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN. “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.”
“Look, it’s been a long time, yes,” De La Hoya told ESPN in 2020. “But actually my jab feels faster than ever. I have to make sure that my conditioning is perfect, my health is good.”
According to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, De La Hoya is a 10-time world champion in six different weight classes. He was inducted in 2014. De La Hoya was named the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world by The Ring magazine in 1997 and in 1998.
He won a gold medal as a lightweight in Barcelona in 1992 and was the only U.S. fighter to be an Olympic champion that year.
De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) is a world-class boxer and has had a tremendous career. He has never stopped training but it seems the Delta variant really body-slammed him.
Many are praying for De La Hoya’s speedy recovery:
Prayers for you 🙏 Hope you feel better soon.
— Mandy ✝☕ (@SpringSteps) September 3, 2021
Didn’t know man. Forget getting back in the ring, I want to see you walking out the hospital in great health. Get well soon and I’m praying for you.
— garry (@deshaungrant45) September 3, 2021
Feel better brother.💪
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) September 3, 2021
Get well soon champ !
— Iain Fraser (@Netduma_Iain) September 4, 2021
Godspeed on your recovery!
— TJ_FunnyOldBroad (@Red3549) September 4, 2021
Prayers are up Champ and you will come back from this stronger than ever Oscar. You got this Brother. pic.twitter.com/Ncd6Q9wen3
— Doug (@sigmapoet1914) September 3, 2021
Be strong! Excited for your belated come back!!💪🏻🥊🥊
— David Pitt (@cdavidpitt) September 4, 2021
Ivermectin vitamin d and c and zinc and HCQ
— Capitalizm (@BuyCapital) September 4, 2021
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