August 1, 2021

The Oscar de la Hoya-Vitor Belfort will be sanctioned, not an exhibition

Oscar De La Hoya’s comeback fight at 48 is now exactly that: a fight.

The Hall of Fame boxer’s return on Sept. 11 against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort, originally planned as a boxing exhibition, will now be a licensed fight, Triller Fight Club founder Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN on Wednesday.

The boxing match, to be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, will be played over eight two-minute rounds at 180 pounds. De La Hoya and Belfort can weigh within five pounds of the limit.

The event has been approved by the California State Athletic Commission, CEO Andy Foster told ESPN, subject to De La Hoya and Belfort passing comprehensive medical tests including an MRA and MRI of the brain, an EKG and tests. cardiac, neurocognitive tests and an ophthalmological examination.

“I decided that if I was going to come back, it was for real, none of these things from the exhibit,” De La Hoya said.

Once officially sanctioned, the fight will count against De La Hoya’s record, an excellent run that ended at 39-6 with 30 KOs. ‘The Golden Boy’ retired after an eight-round beating at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in 2008.

An Olympic gold medalist and five-division champion from Los Angeles, De La Hoya turned his attention to his company, Golden Boy Promotions, which continues to be a major player in boxing. GBP promotes Ryan Garcia, Joseph Diaz Jr., Vergil Ortiz and Gilberto Ramirez among its best fighters.

Golden Boy and top boxing star ‘Canelo’ Álvarez parted ways last year after a legal battle that grew between a personal feud between the superstar fighter and De La Hoya. Golden Boy, which has an exclusive agreement with the DAZN streaming platform, will not promote this event, which will instead be a Triller Fight Club program available on pay-per-view.

This will be Triller’s third undercard following a wildly successful showing with Mike Tyson against Roy Jones Jr. in November, followed by a fight between Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Ben Askren in April.

Triller’s planned fight between undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo López and George Kambosos, scheduled for June 19, was postponed after the champion tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s important to transition from showcases … This is as real as any fight Oscar or Belfort ever had,” Kavanaugh said, “not an organized wrestling event.”

Belfort, 44, will box for the second time in his career. His professional boxing debut came in 2006, a first-round knockout in Brazil.

The Brazilian is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion who owns a black belt in Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu with Carlson Gracie. Belfort also owns a black belt in judo.

Known for his explosive power, he is tied for the third-most finishes in UFC history with 14. Belfort’s third career with the UFC ended in 2018, a KO loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 224.