By: Hans Themistode
After spending months whipping his nearly 50-year-old body back into fighting shape, Oscar De La Hoya announced that he would make his return to the ring.
Now, after sifting through several opponents, the 2014 Hall of Famer finally has his foe. As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, De La Hoya has agreed to terms with former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in an exhibition that will be available on Triller. The two are now set to face off on September 11th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For De La Hoya, he hasn’t officially competed in the ring since suffering an eighth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in 2008. Shortly following his brutal defeat, De La Hoya opted to hang up his gloves. However, after watching fellow all-time great Mike Tyson return to the ring and look impressive in his exhibition contest against Roy Jones Jr. in November of last year, De La Hoya began getting the itch to compete again.
Originally, the former six-division world champion hinted that he would be more than willing to face current IBF middleweight titlist, Gennadiy Golovkin. While nothing ever materialized, De La Hoya attempted to take on former UFC lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez. Although Alvarez admitted that he was interested in the matchup, negotiations broke down. Next up on De La Hoya’s list, was retired UFC legend, George Saint Pierre.
By all accounts, everything appeared to be pointing towards the two sharing the ring with one another. But, UFC President Dana White, nixed those talks immediately.
As for Belfort, the 44-year-old enjoyed massive success early in his MMA career but recently, has gone on a slide. The former UFC belt holder has two wins in his last seven fights in the cage and was knocked out in the second round due to a front kick by Lyoto Machida in 2018.
In terms of his boxing experience, Belfort won’t be entirely out of his element. The Brazilian native has fought once professionally, scoring a first-round knockout against Josemario Neves in 2006.